On May 16, the II Belarusian ICT Summit began its work in the framework of the 25th International Forum on Information and Communication Technologies “TIBO-2018”. It will last till May 18.
The Minister of Communications and Informatization of the Republic of Belarus Sergei Popkov delivered a welcoming speech to the participants and guests of the event at the plenary session. He mentioned that up to November 2018 all domestic TV companies and communication operators will switch to HD-format broadcasting.
The Minister also noted that the digital transformation of the economy and social life can’t exist without the development of information and communication technologies (ICT). “The 4G protocol is being actively developed, the introduction of 5G is not far off, and on the basis of 5G it’s necessary to develop digital industrialization and Internet of things,” said Sergey Popkov and wished the fruitful work to the participants of the summit.
The participants and guests of the forum were also welcomed by Alexander Shumilin, Chairman of the State Committee for Science and Technology (SCST), who noted that the level of development of information and communication technologies is one of the most important indicators of the country’s economic and social development. The contribution of ICT to the economy is growing every year.
“For five years – from 2013 to 2017 – the export of telecommunications services in Belarus has doubled and today it reaches almost one and a half billion dollars. This is an indicator of both the level of our technological solutions, skills and knowledge, and their relevance throughout the world. Exports grow by approximately 18-20% annually”, said Alexander Shumilin
The Chairman of the SCST noted that the digital transformation of the economy is one of the priorities of the state development.
“To meet the needs of the Belarusian society for information, the SCST has been working for more than 10 years on the development of the state system of scientific and technical information. We have implemented about 30 projects the scientific and technical spheres, aimed at creating automated information systems and resources, the development of telecommunications infrastructure, legal and methodological support of the state system of scientific and technical information.”
During the plenary session, such issues as the contribution of ICT transformation to the economic and social development, reduction of costs for paperwork, real-time management of the enterprise through new ERP solutions, and others were discussed.
MTS presented new solutions, which are going to be introduced and developed in Belarus. For example, MTS is ready to develop a digital society in the country, work in the field of Internet of things and continue developing cloud products. Such proposals were made by Vladimir Karpovich, General Director of Mobile TeleSystems JLLC.
Anton Myakishev, Head of the Representative Office of Microsoft in Belarus, spoke on the company approach and its belief that the digital economy is the only economy of our time. The speaker also told about the challenges facing the country and every citizen in the digital economy.
According to the expert, Belarus is now at the crossroads: “On the one hand, we have an innovative Decree No. 8, a remarkable Hi-Tech Park with estimated export of more than a billion dollars, but there is also the other side of the coin. If we look at the level of domestic consumption of information technology in the country, it is less than half a billion, that is, we export almost three times as much services as we consume services, software and hardware combined. Thus the economy, enterprises, public administration, health care, education – all these areas in terms of informatization are very far behind the best world examples. ”
Anton Myakishev believes that digital transformation is the only way to a worthy place within the digital economy of today and tomorrow.
The plenary part of the summit was completed by the report “Legislation of the Digital Economy” by Andrei Nareiko, Chairman of the Board of the Association “Belinfocom”
The speaker noted that Belarus still does not have its own digital trust environment and a single public system for identifying and authenticating the individuals, and for using the electronic signatures. “In order to form a unified environment, we need general legislative requirements for carrying out this identification. In this regard, the Association hopes to create a Belarusian integrated service-accounting system. In addition, “Belinfocom” is interested in legislative issues on payment services and electronic commerce.
Other relevant characteristic of the regulatory environment of the digital economy is its rapid adjustment to a changing reality. “We are now heavily bureaucratic in the process of adopting normative and legal acts,” said Andrei Nareiko and added that it is time for the government to create the post of deputy prime minister responsible for issues of digital transformation only. The speaker noted that it is impossible to improve the regulatory environment of the digital economy once and forever, because the technologies will constantly develop. “It must be done constantly and with increasing speed,” the expert concluded.
The host of the event was Dmitry Titov, press secretary of the HTP and journalist of the TV channel “Belarus 1”.