Ministry Has High Growth Plans for IT

Supporting the growth of the information technology sector at three times the pace of the economy is one of the main objectives of the 2013-2018 action plan made public by the Communications and Press Ministry on Thursday.

The ministry estimates that the country's GDP will grow from up to 2.9 percent this year to 7.1 percent by 2016, which would put the growth target for IT as much as 21 percent, Vedomosti reported.

Earlier this year Communications and Press Minister Nikolai Nikiforov was quoted as saying that information technology accounts for 4.6 percent of the nation's GDP and is growing three times faster than the economy overall.

Data released by IDC, however, estimated that in 2012 IT grew by 3.8 percent, not much more than the 3.4 percent growth of GDP for the same period.

Communications and Press Ministry spokesman Dmitry Zakharov said that IDC only counts hardware sales, while the ministry takes into account software design, exports and value-added services with a combined growth rate of 8 to 12 percent per year.

The task is to keep the growth dynamic at least at its current level, Zakharov said.

Anatoly Karachinsky, IBS Group's president, said that the action plan presented by the Communications and Press Ministry is aimed at supporting startups, something that other organizations dealing with economic development, for example, Russian Venture Company, are already doing.

The money would be better spent on supporting export oriented software companies, enabling them to compete with firms from India on the international market, Karachinsky said.

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