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Kommersant takes a look at the latest report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development on the subject of information economy. Since 2009, the world software market has grown $200 billion and is now estimated to have a volume of $1.2 trillion. The leading position as the largest domestic market is, like it was three years ago belongs to the United States with over $500 billion dollars. It’s followed by Japan, several European nations and Chine. However, software export has a reverse trend. Ireland leads with $37.3 billion – 15.5% of the GDP, followed by India – $33.8 billion – 2.4% of the GDP. Domestic software markets of these countries are much smaller. As far as Russia is concerned, the total monetary value of exported software in the past year did not exceed $1.4 billion, with the domestic market evaluated at $10.7 billion. Major clients of the IT industry are extractive and telecommunication industries as well as the public sector – the latter is explained by the ongoing e-government initiative. Most sought-after export IT products relate to financial accounting for transnational corporations, aircraft and automotive industries, according to Anna Abramova, one of authors of the report. Quote “Companies mostly target US and European markets and make the bulk of their profits on maintaining and supporting software that they’ve previously sold.”
The Governmental Commission For Supervising Foreign Investments has approved amendments to legislation, which allow foreign organizations with over 75% of shares in Russian companies to not coordinate certain deals with the Commission. According to the head of the Federal Antimonopoly Service Igor Artemyev, the document will be shortly approved by the White House and sent to the lower house of parliament. RBC Daily reminds that it was Vladimir Putin who proclaimed the need to give foreign investors more freedom in terms of what kind of deals they can make here, specifically concerning sectors of the economy considered strategic in Russia. The result of his instruction to work out the details was submitted by the Service to the aforementioned Commission, which approved the amendments on Wednesday. Pavel Gagarin, chairman of the board of the Audit and Consulting Group “Gradient Alpha” highlights that coordination with the Commission generally takes two to six months – it’s great if the process will become more streamlined. The expert believes that these new procedures may be relevant for such industries as high tech, real estate development and agro-processing; in Moscow it would include healthcare programs. Quote “Here the government and investors share interests” unquote. The bottom line is that this initiative would attract new and retain existing foreign investors.
Participants of the conference “Entrepreneurship in Russia” held on Wednesday in Moscow have come to the general conclusion that Russian businessmen are facing deteriorating conditions, Novye Izvestia writes. For instance, the dean of the Higher School of Marketing and Business Development of the Higher School of Economics Tatyana Komissarova emphasized that there is no sound legal foundation which would support entrepreneurship. According to her, retail business is the only one which can exist with relatively comfortable conditions. Other sectors are much worse off – for example, innovation business often cannot even receive a patent for their products; overall, around 40% of Russian companies go under in less than a year in business. While a representative of Vnesheconombank highlighted some of the financial stimuli the Russian government has in order to improve the business climate, the majority of conference participants did not share his bright outlook. The bottom line can be described as follows: governmental audits, poor legal foundation, bank loans which are not only expensive, but also not easily granted certainly stunt the growth of entrepreneurship in Russia and limit its diversity.
The Moscow Times covers one of the latest successes of the Russian high tech company Rusnano in securing international partnerships. Anatoly Chubais, head of the company, welcomed the American pharmaceutical company Selecta Biosciences, which aspires to develop the world’s first anti-smoking vaccine. He said: “When we made the decision about investing in Selecta, we made the right choice. It seemed to us that the company has unique technological capacity and that with time, as it develops, this startup will show very strong results.” Selecta Rus, a subsidiary of Boston-based Selecta Biosciences, opened a research lab in Khimki and moved its global top management to Russia as a sign of confidence in the country’s potential for nanotechnology research. The company develops vaccines that are based on nano particles. The smoking vaccine, which would help people quit by taking the joy out of the habit, is well along in the development process, having already been safety tested on nonsmoking Belgians. The article reminds that Rusnano planned to launch 16 new partnerships this year. Chubais could not say whether it would meet that target; last year the corporation launched 13 partnerships.