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    Russia's communications sector may double GDP share by 2010

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    MOSCOW, June 19 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's information and communications market could grow by two times to account for 10% of the country's gross national product in four years, the information technologies minister said Monday.

    "The share of the industry in the [country's] GDP may reach 10% by 2010," Leonid Reiman said. "The share of the information and communications market is currently 5% of GDP and exceeded one trillion rubles ($37 billion) in 2005."

    The minister said the industry had been developing four times faster than the GDP growth.

    Reiman also said the number of Internet users would triple over the same period and that software export in 2005 had totaled $1 billion, a 30% year-on-year increase.

    The minister named simplified licensing procedures and the de-monopolization of long-distance communication service as the major changes made in the communications sector.

    He added that more than 20 licenses had been issued for long-distance communications operators, which was a necessary requirement for Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization.

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