Speaker’s note of The Minister of Communications and Informatization of the Republic of Belarus during the Digital Economy Forum of China-SCO

August 23, 2021 .

Data as a key factor in driving digitalization

Dear participants of the Forum, dear colleagues!

Digital data – is an asset, with high capabilities and economy impact level that is on par with natural resources. Development of computers, mobile devices and information technologies led to the numerous increase of communication speed, decision making, transaction processing and other operations.  

Today more than 5 billion users interact with data every day. By 2025 their number will increase up to 6 billion (75% Earth population). Every Internet user will interact with digital data around 4.9 thousand times per day (around every 18 seconds).

The main units generating data are: basic infrastructure (data processing centers), peripheral network (mobile network base stations) and end user devices (computers, smartphones, etc.) All if it – global data.  It is forecasted to increase up to 175   Прогнозируется, что она вырастет до 175 zettabytes (ZB) in 2025, while it was 33 ZB in 2017. As a result, considering all data sources and rapid growth of processing speed, it will change economy structure, operation methods, including requirements for world market.  

Changes also affect governmental organizations. Modern digital analysis tools help solve social problems, perform scientific research and speed up innovation implementation, decrease governmental costs and provide personalized services to people. Efficient management of state digital data requires development of unified management policy and creation of infrastructure for joint usage.

Till now Belarus achieved high progress in this domain. We have created: data communication network that matches world standards, reliable data centers to store and process data, identification mechanisms, online payment systems, modern digital services and tills to protect data.

Shifting to new digital reality is becoming true by a readiness to start using biometric identification (ID-card) starting from 1st of September 2021. They replace internal passport of a citizen of the republic of Belarus and open a wide variety for people to start getting state services online. ID-card implementation will become a motivation for a more intensive data digitalization, transferring many interaction processes to a digital format

According UN estimation, by 2020 Belarus was ranked 40th  place by electronic government development index among 193 world countries.

As for infrastructure readiness of Belarus for intensification of digital interactions we would like to mention:

  • Fulfilled fiber-optic construction for every apartment in residential areas. All educational and healthcare institutions have high-speed access to Internet.
  • Vast increase of subscribers of fixed broadband Internet access (3.3 M) and IP-TV – 2,3 M.
  • Meanwhile quantity of mobile cellular subscribers is 11,67 M. 63 % out of them are using internet access.
  • 2G and 3G mobile cellular access is available for 99,9 % of population on the 98 % of the country territory. Using LTE – 95 % population и 58,6 % of the country territory.

As a result in ICT Development index Belarus ranked 32 out of 176 countries, leading among CIS countries.

As result we observe positive trends of data influence to the national economy. For the second half of 2021 added value of “Information and communication” became 2.4 billion USD, added value growth rate – 107,3%. GDP ratio - 7,7%.

Major tasks for the coming period are:

  • National infrastructure development, mainly 5G cellular technology implementation in Belarus;
  • Development and popularization of state digital service platform, digital signature usage;
  • Digatal education projects implementation, healthcare, employment, logistics, trade and other directions. Create and spread technologies of Industry0 and Smart City.

National program “Digital development of Belarus” in 2021 – 2025 is being realized.

Quitting slide mode

Considering rapid growth of digital transformation capabilities, digital transformation priority for country-members of SCO, current Forum is an important professional discussion channel.

Experts from different countries and domains will deliver their interesting ideas and suggestions, will discuss modern technologies and their influence to economy and human society development

Such a dialogue is extremely important now. Nowadays challenges proved that further development is almost not possible without digitalization. I’m positively sure that Digital Economy Forum has high practical usage. I wish fruitful work to all participant.