Twelve Belarusian Companies Decided to Move to Latvia. What Does Viber Think? Twelve companies from Belarus have already decided to move their business to Latvia, the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Lithuania has reported.
The Ministry of Economy of Latvia reports that the companies that have decided to move represent the information and telecommunications technology, green energy and other sectors. Some of them fit the definition of start-ups, and, therefore, can count on support and bonuses under the start-up support law (for example, tax breaks on labor taxes).
It is known that companies that have confirmed their readiness to move intend to transfer about 500 people, mostly top managers and leading specialists.
To facilitate the relocation, the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia, the Ministry of Economy, the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs and other agencies have organized a joint team that helps interested entrepreneurs from Belarus with business advice, obtaining visas and residence permits, etc.
“We understand that it is now difficult for these companies to obtain the necessary certificates from state institutions of Belarus, so we work with each company individually. We listen to requests and, in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of the Interior, promptly resolve issues related to the preparation of the necessary documents,” said Economy Minister Janis Vitenbergs.
To date, the Latvian Investment and Development Agency has provided detailed advice to 116 Belarusian companies; 30 of them are from the IT sector, 25 are manufacturing enterprises.
Anna Znamenskaya, Global Development Director at Viber Rakuten, on a possible relocation:
Against the backdrop of the events taking place in Belarus over the past month, more and more companies are beginning to think about closing offices and relocating employees to other countries. The turbulent situation in the country, the detention of people, including representatives of IT businesses, stimulate this process. An important argument in favor of relocation is the comfort and safety of employees, since only in this case can we talk about high productivity and team efficiency. Internet outages also negatively impact businesses, making it virtually impossible for some to operate. All this can actually stimulate a massive flow of companies to other countries. Most of them have all the resources they need to move.
Belarus is an important country for us: Viber has 6.5 million users here. There are also two offices in Minsk and Brest, where more than 120 talented employees work. Prior to the current situation, we planned to double the number of employees in Belarus. However, now, due to the atmosphere in the country, employees of the Belarusian offices of Viber cannot do their job to the full extent as they would like. Internet connection interruptions affected the operation of our application: from August 9 to August 12, Viber did not work at all in Belarus.
However, the decision to close offices in Belarus and relocate employees has not yet been made. We are monitoring the situation in the country and hope that it will change for the better soon. We have many employees in Belarus so that our Belarusian colleagues can live and work in their native country without endangering themselves and their loved ones.
But if we see that this is not possible, we will probably have to offer our employees to move from Belarus to one of our offices in Russia, Ukraine or Western Europe, and our recruitment will focus as much as possible on finding new employees in other countries.