“These countries have achieved a significant increase in labor productivity, improved the quality of state management, while the accessibility of the entire range of IT services to people has had a dramatic influence on their competitiveness,” he said, adding that free exchange of ideas and information was one of the key factors for strengthening democratic institutions in these countries.
By 2015, Russia has to get to the foreground of the global IT sector. Measures to achieve this goal have been included in the strategy for development of information society in Russia adopted by the Council.
Work on the strategy within the Council for science, technology and education should be conducted by a commission for information society development that is to be set up by October 1, Putin said. This is not just a government affair, it is important to involve businesses and civil society institutions as well, he added.
By 2009, Russia will not have a village without the telephone service left, Putin promised. “We must act so that all the measures we plan are not only well-considered, but also forward-looking,” he said. “We must look for new niches and specific spheres that will allow achieving not just parity, but a real technological leadership.”
One of such spheres can be the software market, where Russian specialists are believed to be one of the best. “We should help research institutes to choose the right focus and to link them to other research programs, first of all development of nanotechnology, which opens a door for creating an absolutely new element base,” he pointed out.
Setting up its own innovative companies through the mechanisms of public private partnership and international cooperation and developing own products, Russia will be able to replace imports. “Replacement of imports is not an end in itself, it cannot be such in the economy, but it is justified in the current sector as it is related to some aspects of national security,” Putin said.
“Globalization offers us new opportunities, but it also creates certain risks,” he warned, when speaking of information security. “We should be ready to adequately react to such potential threats as cyber terrorism, for example.”
The level of IT implementation can be a way to assess the activities of the authorities, so the president asked that assessment criteria for technology implementation be worked out. For example, a criterion to assess the work of government departments will be how fast and efficiently they provide services to people.
It will be how fast documents are drafted, how much time it takes to receive different certificates, to submit tax declarations and register property, Putin explained.