During the last expert meeting called "Export of IT Services. Outlook and Proposal for Development" Ksenia Sukhorukova, Head of the Department for Foreign Economic Activity of the Analytical Center, pointed out that in the last 2 years Russia has been experiencing a drop in exports.
According to the expert, it might have been caused by various barriers faced by exporters of IT services. "There are systemic problems such as value-added tax, marketing promotion pattern common for Russian products in foreign markets or complicated verification of actual export of goods from the customs area," said Ms. Sukhorukova. However, there are also industry issues related only to the IT segment.
"Ministry for Communications promotes export in the Information Technology segment on a global scale in the course of various bilateral initiatives," explained Mikhail Sharikov, Deputy Head of the Department for International Cooperation in the Ministry for Communications of Russia. The Ministry conducts regular surveys of existing barriers among various companies. "In the last survey, the key issue identified by Russian IT exporters was related to the foreign exchange restrictions. Prior to this, the main difficulties were related to exhibits and credit, but the REC has already established mechanisms for partial subsidy of foreign credit and individual participation of companies in foreign exhibitions," says Mr. Sharikov. In the opinion of the expert, the issue of foreign exchange restrictions should be resolved in the nearest future.
Another barrier in the industry is related to factoring. Mr. Sharikov explained that initiated subsidized mechanism did not allow some companies to take full advantage of this method of financing. Another issue requiring much attention is the lack of awareness of potential markets among Russian exporters, as well as low level of marketing training of the companies.
Recently, the government provides certain support for exporters. However, according to Yekaterina Solntseva, Vice President for Business Development at ABBYY, there are also imbalances in the decisions taken. "For example, the Resolution for credit financing has been issued but offered facilities apply only to novice exporters, and not to well-established companies already operating on the world market," says the expert.
The meeting has been arranged under the Order of the Government of the Russian Federation with a focus on finding new export possibilities for Russian IT services as well as defining problems and proposals for its development.
Again, in accordance with the Order of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 1473-r dated July 12, 2017, information and digital services are now included in the list of products given the highest priority by the federal executive bodies in terms of export support.