Europe nations are competing for IT specialists from Belarus, who are looking for an alternative country beyond their home nation, tormented by Alexander Lukashenka's regime. According to experts, the exodus of skillful programmers from the East is an opportunity to improve the competitiveness of Polish software houses.
“We need more talented programmers quickly, otherwise we will cease to be competitive on the global market”, say representatives from the SoDA employers' organisation, which associates over a hundred native software houses.
“Poland has to act quickly, because Lithuanians, Ukrainians, Russians, and even Kazakhstan - not to mention Western European countries - can precede us in employing gifted specialists. Just like us, they are in need of new programmers”, said Konrad Weiske, the head of Spyrosoft company.
Przemysław Mikus, a member of the SoDA board, stated that one of the barriers is labor costs in Poland. The Belarusian IT specialists enjoy numerous tax exemptions and pay only a few-percent-high income tax. Technological companies in that country are exempted from VAT and CIT. Other Central and Eastern European countries, such as Bulgaria, Romania or Ukraine, are tempting the Belarusian programmers with similar layoffs.
Konrad Weiske suggested that a solution which can accelerate the flow of experts from Belarus may be the possibility of quickly establishing a sole proprietorship by IT specialists from abroad.
Among other obstacles in the transfer of foreign talents, the experts mention mainly the complex process of applying for a visa and work permits.
“In India, the Philippines, Brazil and Argentina, there are many well-educated IT specialists who would like to work in Poland and in Europe, which from their perspective means good wages, medical care and stabilisation. They would like to come to us, but if they have to wait six months for a visa and arrange other formalities, they simply refuse to do so”, Mr Weiske concluded.