Putin orders government to launch national technology program

Other News Materials 20 June 2006 18:01

(RIA Novosti) - Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday he was concerned over Russia's weak role in world high-tech production, and ordered the government to launch a program to develop the sector.

"According to expert estimates, Russia's share of global trade in high-technology production is between 0.3% and 0.8%, and the unpleasant fact is that this is 15-20 times lower than, for example, China's share," Putin told a meeting of Russia's Security Council, reports Trend.

"Nevertheless, little is being done to overcome this technology gap," he said.

Russia must use its competitive advantages, in particular the space industry, aviation, energy and communications, the president told the Security Council. The country must also make use of its leading science positions in the materials sciences, physics, nuclear technology, chemistry and metallurgy, he said.

"Russia is able to concentrate its efforts to solve the most complex technological problems," Putin said.

By boosting the development of high-tech spheres, Russia could "radically and swiftly influence a change in the structure and the growth rate of the economy," he said.

The president also said there should be economic incentives for businesses to promote high technology. The incentives would help to create the right environment for knowledge and technology to develop, he said.

"Currently, the role of Russian businesses in developing the research and development base is only 6%, whereas in the U.S., EU, Japan, and China this figure is close to 60%."

"It is clear that this potential, which was incidentally proactively used in the Soviet period, has now been simply discarded," Putin said.