Bloomberg News

Russian Communications Industry to Surge in Innovation Drive

June 09, 2007

Russia's communications industry will expand 14-fold by 2020 as the government seeks to make the nation a global innovation center, First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said.

``Information technologies have to become a part of everyday life,'' Ivanov said today at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. Demand for IT services will double in the period, he said.

Russian telecommunications and information technology goods and services last year generated 1.16 trillion rubles ($44.6 billion) in sales, according to data provided by the IT and Communications Ministry earlier this year. The government wants to provide telecommunications access to the entire population, currently 142 million, by 2015.

Russia, the world's largest energy exporter, created OAO Russia Venture Co. last August to help diversify the economy away from commodities by boosting investment in technologies in aviation, energy conservation, biomedicine and other industries.

The government has selected three companies, including ZAO VTB Asset Management, to create state-supported venture capital funds, with capital of 8 billion rubles. As many as 12 funds will be created this year with capital of 30 billion rubles, Ivanov said. They will finance about 200 companies, he said.

The economy expanded by 6.7 percent last year, Arkady Dvorkovich, an economic adviser to President Vladimir Putin, said yesterday. This year's growth would be no lower and could exceed 7 percent, he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lyubov Pronina in Moscow at lpronina@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Lars Klemming at lklemming@bloomberg.net.


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