INTERVIEW: E-economy program to require at least 570 bln rbl until 2024
MOSCOW, Feb 28 (PRIME) -- Russia’s digital economy program will exceed 570 billion rubles by 2024, including private financing, but the funds are insufficient, Maxim Akimov, first deputy head of the government’s administration, told PRIME on Wednesday in an interview.
“It’s difficult to estimate the volume of money. At present, the program stipulates more than 570 billion rubles, including private money. However new industry directions will emerge and require extra money,” Akimov said.
“We’ve started with a modest amount of 3.4 billion rubles. This is money to launch urgent measures in infrastructure, security, regulation and technological developments.”
Russia is implementing a large-scale program to develop the digital economy and includes different directions from regulation to human capital and cybersecurity.
Other countries spend much more on the development of technologies. “China will invest over U.S. $12 billion on support of 51 companies in 2018, only on artificial intelligence projects, which is only one of the nine transverse digital technologies that we should develop in one of the program’s sections dedicated to technological developments and their commercialization,” Akimov said.
“Our global partners spent giant amounts on, for example, quantum computers, a technology promising to overturn the whole world of cryptography, encoding and means of data protection. One will have to invest heavily in the digital economy, and it will require out-of-the-box solutions.”
The government will work on measures of tax stimulation to develop the digital economy in 2018 to be launched in 2019.
They comprise a favorable taxation regime to sell intellectual property, a facilitated regime of tax residence of high-quality professionals, and others.
The Russian regulators and experts are discussing payments via messengers, Akimov also said.
“I think the world of payment cards, as we know it today, the world of plastic payment cards, will be a thing of the past soon…(Cards) may survive (until 2024), but what will a plastic card be? What services will be tied to it? I believe that everything will be paid for via a smartphone, and many legally important actions will be done with this method,” the official said.
The government should not necessarily develop its own state messenger for a payment system, but cryptography should be regulated.
Akimov also said that it is quite possible to create an ecosystem able to rival Google or Alibaba in Russia or in the Eurasian Economic Union – comprising also Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan –but it will be a mistake to put stakes on one company.
“Ecosystems, like Facebook, Alibaba, or Google, emerged in the economy of a different type. Russia, if it succeeds in creating a data-centric economy, has a chance to join the process of digital transformation,” the official said.
“To put a stake on one company or appoint such companies by the government would be a mistake.”
In order to grow companies of a global scale, the country should in the first place create basic prerequisites for progress of the digital economy, register growth of new businesses, support this growth and make it sustainable.
Digital identity should be protected, and a national system of data management should be created alongside a system of financial and non-financial stimuli for business, the official said.
(55.6717 rubles – U.S. $1)