Russia needs a national concept of digital economy development

17 april 2017

"The Electronic (Digital) Economy document is one of the main systemic decisions behind the general strategy for the socio-economic development of Russia through 2025 aimed at stimulating sources of growth," Deputy Head of the Analytical Center Vladislav Onishchenko reminded those present as he opened the Electronic Economy: New Model and Opportunities for Growth VS Risks and Threats conference.

In accordance with an instruction from the President of Russia, the "Strategiya Rosta" (Growth Strategy) medium-term social and economic development program through 2025 was developed. The main expert venues working on the program were the Analytical Center for the Government of the Russian Federation, the Institute for National Economy Forecasting of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Financial University of the Government of the Russian Federation, and the Moscow State Institute of International Relations. In total, some 800 experts, researchers, representatives of state authorities and business associations worked on the program. The program that was developed may form a foundation for the transition of the Russian economy from recession to growth in the near future, the experts believe.

"If we want to preserve our positions in the global economy and retain our economy sovereignty, Russia needs to have a national concept for the development of an electronic or digital economy," believes Anastasia Alekhnovich, the head of the Expert Center of the President of Russia for the Protection of Entrepreneurs. The concept must be based on the development of the national technology initiative (road maps for the introduction of new technologies), recognition and regulation of block chain technologies and steps aimed at encouraging the creation of world-class platform companies. "It is also important to develop systems of statistical, state and open data based on modern technologies as a way to boost the efficiency of state governance," Ms. Alekhnovich said. "As well as ensure the migration of the systems of state and municipal services to modern platforms in order to improve the quality of service and personalize the service provision for each citizen and business."

The expert is of the opinion that the goal of the electronic (digital) economy is to improve the quality of life for the population as well as make the Russian economy more competitive on the global market, while ensuring the conditions required for a gradual transition to the level of an innovative economy and a knowledge-based economy.

Ilya Dimitrov, Executive Director of the Association of E-Trading Platforms, believes that there are 12 stages on the way to the digital economy that include creation of shared terminology, right conditions for digital transformation, innovative markets, key performance indicators and implementation stages. The role of the state in the digital economy also needs to be determined: what level of support should be provided, what are the socio-ethical aspects of the transformation, what legal regulations should be put in place, what steps must be taken to ensure information security and promote international activities.