National IT cluster to be created in Zakarpattia region

Viktor Mykyta, Head of Zakarpattia Region Military Administration, has made an unexpected statement for the IT community. A national IT cluster will be created in the region, and it will have one crucial peculiarity: IT specialists’ exemption from military service, he said. According to his statement, the region has become the national hub of all Ukrainian business.

“Any business that will move to and run in Zakarpattia will be protected. Aiming to safeguard the Ukrainian economy, we, in particular, create a national IT cluster in the region and exempt all IT specialists from military duty,” Viktor Mykyta said.

Nearly 35 thousand IT professionals have already moved to the Zakarpattia region. This is several times more than before. Now they want to create special conditions for them.

The RMA will defer the military draft for IT professionals, provide them with work locations and high-quality Internet connections, and any help and support regarding taxing procedures, Viktor Mykyta announced.

“I personally invite all IT specialists of Ukraine to Zakarpattia. We offer: deferment of IT specialists from the military draft for the period of mobilization and martial law, work locations, renovated office space and co-working, their safety, modern high-quality (fiber, satellite) Internet connection, help and support regarding tax, economic and business activities,” Head of the Region informed.

Whether it is really possible or not, considering their number, to defer the IT specialists from the military draft is the essential question arising after the initiative of the Zakarpattia RMA Head. The AIN.UA editorial board has received different comments regarding the realization of this statement. We, however, are going to question some experts regarding how exactly it works.

Requirements for entities:

  • An IT business is registered in the Ministry of Economy as a company that intends to move its activities and capacity to the Zakarpattia region
  • An entity is obligatory registered as a re-integrated from another region company on the territory of the region
  • After that, the RMA and the Ministry of Economy ensure the procedure of applying an offer regarding deferment of IT specialists from the military draft for the period of mobilization and martial law

The realization procedure is developed, so there is no specific guidance at the moment that answers the questions like “what,” “how,” and “where to.”

Why is that important?

A few weeks ago, they started to talk about a deferment of IT specialists from the military draft. The IT industry, which could keep working despite the war, asked the government to help save their staff, the most valuable thing for all the companies. Dozens of stories about mobilization and a bit chaotic military draft were why. In 2021, the IT industry exported services for more than $6 billion, and despite the war, it may surpass that number in 2022. It is more important than ever for the country’s economic resilience. The Ministry of Digital Transformation supported the initiative at the time by publishing its appeal to the government. Maybe now the support moves to a new level.