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Belarusian telecom ministry, Microsoft sign memorandum of understanding

The Belarusian Information Technologies and Communications Ministry and Microsoft Corporation have signed a memorandum of understanding. The information was released by Information Technologies and Communications Minister Sergei Popkov before the opening ceremony of the international forum on telecommunications, information and banking technologies TIBO 2016 on 18 April, BelTA has learned.

Sergei Popkov said: “We have signed a memorandum saying that both sides will try to help each other with business development. At present the document represents the first step in cooperation between the government and Microsoft in implementing various projects in the area of information technologies.” In particular, Microsoft can take part in the project to create a digital economy in Belarus.

Sergei Popkov also said that the cost of Microsoft software products in Belarus is being discussed.

In turn, First Deputy Information Technologies and Communications Minister Dmitry Shedko reminded that a large number of matters within the framework of the World Trade Organization are related to rights to intellectual property, including software. “Microsoft is one of the key players on the market. It is not the only one we are negotiating with but a key one. We are discussing ways of making the country’s national interests agree with international principles of supremacy of intellectual property rights. However, we would like this intellectual property to cost not as much as the standard prices. In essence we would like [software vendors] to take into account national peculiarities, needs of the education system, the healthcare system and offer us attractive terms,” explained the official.

The TIBO 2016 expo is scheduled to take place in Minsk on 19-22 April. More than 100 companies from 18 countries (Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Czechia, Germany, Finland, Sweden, the UK, Turkey, China, the Republic of Korea, Japan, and the USA) intend to take part in the event.