Nikolay Nikiforov Presented Import Substitution Plans for Telecom and Software Spheres to Chairman of the State Duma

Moscow, May 15, 2015. — Nikolay Nikiforov, Minister of Telecom and Mass Communications, took part in the meeting of working group under Chairman of the State Duma on legislative initiatives in sphere of innovative policy “Legal support of import substitution program and development of high-tech industries”. In his speech Nikolay Nikiforov noted importance of import substitution in spheres of software and telecom equipment in terms of information security and management of critical Internet infrastructure.

Nikolay Nikiforov reminded that Minsvyaz approved software import substitution plan, which defines three groups of software products that should be controlled by the Government for gradual substitution.

First of all, the plan implies preferences to Russian IT products, purchased for government needs. This point concerns enterprise software market, possessing competitive national products. Particularly, business applications, anti-virus software, information security software and Internet services for corporate environment.

“We think that money of Russian taxpayers should be spend on Russian products,” said Nikolay Nikiforov, “I’m talking not about total ban, but about rational restrictions imposed on purchases at the expense of budget resources and funds of companies with state participation.”

Public discussions of draft decree of the Government of the Russian Federation on preferences to Russian software were finalized on March 27, 2015. The draft decree is being improved taking into account suggestions of interested public authorities and results of public discussions. Draft decree will be introduced to the Government of Russia after introduction of all improvements.

“We know that there is corresponding initiative in Committee on Information Policy, IT and Telecom and plan to connect these two initiatives,” noted Minister of Telecom and Mass Communications.

Second direction of the plan implies support of collective software development in segments of enterprise software market, lacking competitive software products. Particularly, client and mobile operating systems, server operating systems, database management systems, cloud infrastructure management facilities, virtualization software and user office software.

The Minister told that it’s hard to create system software with the efforts of just one country. It requires long-term investments, efforts of thousands of engineers and significant expenditures on penetration to occupied market segments.

“IT industry is monopolized by one country and few companies,” said Nikolay Nikiforov, “Our country is chairman of BRICS in 2015. I carried out negotiations with Ministers of India, China and Brazil. Next week I will carry out a meeting in South Africa. We suggest our colleagues to unite efforts for mutual development of software. It guarantees access of our further developments to BRICS markets, comprising half of global market.”

Third direction of the plan implies government support of Russian developers in specific market segments.

“I mean such software products, as software for petrochemical complex, health care and other specific industries. Such projects require financial support from existing development institutions,” said Nikolay Nikiforov, “Rosinfocominvest is one of such institutions. It is subordinated to Minsvyaz. Resources of this institution should be used for import substitution in consortium of large consumers of services on the territory of Russia, potential producers and development institutions.”

Nikolay Nikiforov also discussed import substitution of telecom equipment: “In majority of cases Russian operators use foreign telecom equipment. Conditions of financing and supplies of such equipment very often force operators to choose foreign products.”

Minister of Telecom and Mass Communications noted key role of testing, certification and verification of Russian equipment on existing operators networks. “Cooperation with Rostelecom is an example of successful partnership in telecom sphere. Cooperatively we’ve organized laboratory for testing of new Russian telecom equipment in the Republic of Bashkortostan,” said Nikolay Nikiforov, “Detailed testing fastens speed of decision-making on introduction of Russian products. It creates required demand and switch to more active use of Russian products.”

Nikolay Nikiforov expressed confidence that initiatives on regulation of legislation in sphere of public procurements are reasonable. He also noted that this topic is being discussed the Government and special-purpose committees of the State Duma.