Vladimir Putin discussses high technologies in Kremlin

Following the Group of Eight summit in Okinawa in July 2000, "the theme of high technologies and new economy" has staged a kind of comeback in Russia, said Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin at a meeting with businessmen concerned with high technologies. The president suggested that those present should discuss how to create conditions for high technologies in Russia and abroad. But, Putin stated with regret, the level of development of Russian high technologies does not match the importance of this sphere. The president pointed to a wide gap between the state's possibilities and high technology business requirements. According to Putin, Russia's share of high technologies is 0.6 per cent of the gross national product, while in the developed countries this indicator is 4-6 per cent. Besides, the president noted, there is also a gap between training standards and availability of personnel. In Russia, for example, there is something like 300,000 programmers, which is "clearly redundant", since they cannot be usefully employed in the country. So many of them "find jobs in other countries, because they are short" of such specialists, Putin said.

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