Russia and its regions in international trade in ICT services
The Roscongress Foundation and The International Trade and Integration (ITI) presented an analytical digest about Russia and its regions in international trade in ICT services in May 2020.
International trade in services in the sector of information and communication technologies (ICT) is characterized by a relatively high and steady growth. The share of ICT in global exports of services already exceeds one tenth.
Russia currently accounts for as little as 0.9% of global exports and 1.6% of global imports of ICT services. The growth rate of Russia’s ICT services exports roughly equals the global average (13.1% and 13.2% respectively) but is below the average growth rate of BRICS countries (26.8%). Russia’s imports are growing at a much slower rate (1.9%). This makes Russia a net exporter of ICT services for the first time in the last decade (based on data for nine months of 2019).
There is still a large disproportion between Russia’s regions regarding trade in ICT services. Moscow and St. Petersburg remain the outright winners in external trade in this sector, though there is a considerable difference between them as well –Moscow’s exports are twice those of St. Petersburg, and Moscow’s imports are ten times greater. However, statistics for the first nine months of 2019 show a drop in Moscow’s trade in ICT services and a rise in other regions.
Most major Russian IT companies registered a rise in their revenues in 2019. Russian developers and suppliers of ICT services in certain high-potential areas compete successfully with foreign companies. The largest share of Russia’s ICT exports is accounted for by software for a wide range of users. In addition, Russia supplies information security systems, industrial safety and management systems, and telecommunication services.
For a further development of the information and communication technologies sector and an expansion of Russian companies on foreign markets, companies require support from the state. The Strategy for the Development of Services Exports until 2025 which was approved by the Government of the Russian Federation in 2019 can serve as a foundation for state support.