MOSCOW, July 15 (RIA Novosti) – The Russian government approved a roadmap Monday for the domestic IT industry in an apparent move to boost the country's development in innovative spheres and diversify the economy away from raw material exports.
The roadmap for 2013-2018, developed by the Communications Ministry on the orders of President Vladimir Putin, stipulates the development of IT research, infrastructure and specialist training and the creation of tax and legal benefits for IT companies, the website Digit.ru reported on Monday.
“The IT sector needs a breakthrough. We need to raise the level of education in the IT sector, expand research in this sphere – both with the help of domestic higher education establishments and scientific organizations, and by creating new world-class research centers – as well as improve new mechanisms for supporting the IT business and exports of Russian high-tech products,” Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev told a government meeting on Monday.
“As a result, IT growth rates should exceed Russia’s average GDP growth at least threefold; this is what we can legitimately count on,” Medvedev said.
Russia’s GDP grew only 3.4 percent last year – the lowest figure since the deep recession of 2009 – on weak demand for Russian exports in Europe.
The number of high-performance IT jobs should exceed 600,000 by 2018 and the output and export of domestic IT products and IT services should have doubled by that time, the premier said.
Communications Minister Nikolai Nikiforov, who was present at the government meeting, said Russia’s IT exports were expected to grow from $4.4 billion in 2012 to $9 billion by 2018, according to Digit.ru.