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Strategic Vision

In order to pursue stable socioeconomic development in Russia, it is necessary to complete two major tasks. These have been formulated in the official strategic documents, in the governmental short-term (next several years) program for the socioeconomic development, and in various statements by the officials of the Russian government. The tasks can be briefly stated as follows:

  • Shifting from Russia's de facto development approach as a natural resource supplier to the world market and changing the structure of the economics and export towards the industries with higher value-added;
  • Improving nation's global competitiveness and attaining high levels of economic growth.

In order to ensure sound economic growth, Russia needs to mobilize and effectively utilize such crucial renewable resources as knowledge and information.

In 2001, the Russian government adopted an important strategic document entitled Major Directions for Russia's Long-Term Socioeconomic Growth. The document outlined certain aspects of Russia's advancement towards the Information Age and the electronic world; however, these items were (1) poorly articulated and inadequately thought through and (2) concealed in the general context of the national development problems. In August 2003, the Russian government adopted the Program of Russia's Socioeconomic Development for the years 2003-2005. This latest Program clearly states that the country's level of development and long-term economic growth as well as people s well-being will increasingly depend upon the availability of knowledge and human capital rather than the quantity of the natural resources.

It is crucial that the strategy of the socioeconomic development in Russia clearly state the priorities for building Information Society and Knowledge Economy. It is also necessary to include in the aforementioned strategic Program, in addition to the reforms of education, business, and financial system, building the effective national system of implementing innovations and building information infrastructure.

Developing the Information Society in Russia requires dynamic state policy and reallocating investments and resources from industries working with natural resources into science, education, ICT, and supporting the innovations. However, merely reassigning expenditure flows is not sufficient; a number of tasks must be solved, which include the fundamental reform of the educational and scientific systems, developing adequate infrastructure and legislative framework, etc. These changes are intended to stimulate the commercial use and value of the theoretical and applied research. These goals can only be achieved through a balanced and well-coordinated and thoroughly designed policy for developing Information Society.

Such document, if created, could become a valuable addition to the existing strategy of Russia s long-term socioeconomic development and could reflect Russia s determination to develop and follow a comprehensive strategy of building the Information Society.

Taking into account the specifics of the current situation in Russia and drawing upon other countries experience, it is possible to state several principal conditions of economic development that should be created for effective advancement to the Information Society. Thus, the national strategy should strive to provide the following aspects:

  • Legislative framework and business environment, which are conducive to entrepreneurship, utilizing the existing knowledge, and creating new knowledge;
  • Modern ICT infrastructure, widespread use of the ICT, competitive industry of the intellectual products and information services;
  • Human capital a critical mass of people possessing knowledge, skills, and abilities allowing them to participate in building the Information Society and Knowledge Economy;
  • Effective national system of implementing innovations, which would consist of a network of structures using the growing wealth of knowledge, adapting it to the local needs, and creating new knowledge and technologies.

The strategy of moving towards the Information Society should determine the direction of the economic policy, the means of regulating the market, and other possible influence measures.

An important factor determining the successful outcome of such a strategy is active participation and close collaboration of the representatives from all spheres of societal activity interested in postindustrial development. In this regard, it is feasible to design the national strategy with the help from business, research and education community, civil society institutions, and other contributing organizations. Such scheme has been widely adopted internationally.

In order to implement the national strategy, one or several coordinated and interrelated programs should be developed and carried out. These programs would supplement such existing programs as Electronic Russia for the Years 2002-2010, Development of the Integrated Education Information Environment During 2001-2005, and others. The next step will include development and implementation of the regional strategies and programs as a response to the new national direction.

Last updated: 2007-10-09
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