Belarus to set up regional venture companies

In the next five years Belarus is planning to set up a modern network of regional venture capital companies and funds, the chairman of the State Committee on Science and Technology of Belarus Igor Voitov said at a press conference in Minsk.

According to Igor Voitov, Belarus needs to create venture capital companies not only in the capital but in other regions, making maximum use of regional scientific-technical and industrial potential. Now national experts are studying the possibility of attracting foreign capital into such projects. Negotiations are underway with several potential investors, including from Russia, Israel and Syria. However, for cooperation with them, a relevant legal framework is needed, said Igor Voitov. At the first stage it will be a presidential decree on the establishment of venture companies. The document should define the mechanisms of their formation, taxation. In addition, we should clearly define what the state's involvement in venture capital projects will be and what the state’s interaction with investors will look like, because the work of venture capitals is based on public-private partnership.

“The Government is now working on all of these issues in the framework of legislative approaches. We are currently preparing a decree using the experience of Russia, the United States and Israel. We are hoping that the decree will be ready in the second half of the year. If it is approved then early next year we will start working on the creation of regional venture capital companies,” Igor Voitov said. 

Igor Voitov added that he sees good prospects in the development of mechanisms for venture financing in Belarus. According to him, the functions in this area are now performed by the Belarusian Innovation Fund. However, this is only the first stage. In the future the system of venture capital funds in Belarus will be expanding. "We are receiving many offers from foreign companies who are willing to participate in such projects. Now they are being examined,” said Igor Voitov.

According to