On 2 October the Minister of Communications and Mass Media of the Russian Federation Nikolai Nikiforov and his Deputy Mark Shmulevich met with representatives of the Association of Software Developers RUSSOFT. President of RUSSOFT Valentin Makarov, Member of the Board of Directors of Diasoft Alexander Gentsis, CEO of Artezio Pavel Adylin, and CEO of Lanit-Tercom, Head of Software Engineering Chair at St Petersburg State University Andrey Terekhov represented the Association.
The draft of the “Development Strategy of the National IT Industry in 2012-2020” was discussed at the meeting. Many representatives of RUSSOFT were involved in preparing the ‘Strategy’; some provisions of the draft caused an impassioned discussion in the IT community and were actively discussed in the mass media. As a result of the discussions, the Association had prepared a list of key comments on the draft and submitted it to the Ministry. In addition, at the personal request of Mark Shmulevich, Andrey Terekhov had thoroughly studied the draft of the “Development Strategy” and made additional comments on IT personnel training and on government support for IT research.
The personal meeting with representatives of RUSSOFT was initiated by Nikolai Nikiforov. “We were getting ready for an impassioned and fierce debate, but it did not happen, since practically all of our comments were taken into account and were incorporated into the amended version of the ‘Strategy’,” said A. N. Terekhov.
Nonetheless, the discussion, in the course of which the leaders of MinComSvyaz asked the representatives of RUSSOFT to indicate the sore spots of the Russian IT industry, to suggest solutions of the problems, and to provide specific recommendations, lasted over two hours.
«This is far from being the first time that I talked to ministers, but I must say that I have never met with such an approach. We talked about educational and professional standards in IT, about IT research support by using breakthrough research centres at the leading universities of the country, about support for export of IT services through government assistance with trade fairs abroad, about the role of the Russian trade representatives in other countries in promoting the image of the Russian IT industry, and many other industry problems. I must note that we hardly touched on the subjects that have become traditional in recent years, taxation of IT companies, for example. This is due to the fact that most of the problems have either been solved, or have been approved by all ministers and are in the final stage of being signed by the President (lowering the IT company headcount threshold to seven, for example),” told Andrey Terekhov.
Nikolai Nikoforov recommended that the attendees should pay special attention to the importance of discussing industry problems in the Intergovernmental Committees – special committees at the Ministry level or equivalent, composed of representatives from different countries. Such format allows issue resolution at a high level; lists of government commitments are prepared in the wake of such meetings.
“The Minister offered his help in promoting the achievements of IT companies to Russian federal companies and ministries, noting that while he cannot advertise specific companies, he can work with 2-3 large Russia-wide associations of IT companies. We were glad to accept his help. The meeting left the most pleasant impression. I am glad that there are such young and vigorous people in the Government of Russia. I sincerely hope for changes for the best!” summarised the meeting Mr. Terekhov.