On Saturday, Software Development Forum 2018 took place in Kyiv. It brought together all representatives of the information and communications technology industry in one place.
Traditionally, the forum focuses on three key topics for the information technology industry – global competition, business and human capital development, and the problematic issues of Ukraine’s digitalization.
One of the discussion panels was opened by Oleksandr Danchenko, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Informatization and Communication.
“Digitalization kills corruption, so the government is afraid of digital technologies. The funds that can be obtained by the state from digitalization far exceed the size of loans from the IMF. The projects that can significantly increase revenues to the state budget are right on the surface. These are electronic customs registries that eliminate the problem of grey imports, smart city technologies, which optimize the costs of farming in cities, and much more. We talk a lot about the digital economy within the industry; we are like digital prophets who carry ideas to the masses. But the main problem is that the highest echelons of power are pretending that the digitalization is not a priority. The government has not managed to carry out administrative reform over the course of four years. The creation of a single authority that would be responsible for digital reform, the elimination of the entire network of departments and divisions that exists now, would have significantly saved budget funds.
The second huge problem is the unwillingness of people’s deputies to consider the bills that are fundamental for digitalization. The eParliament system would allow doing it over a couple of days. But again, the transparent eParliament would not let there be such a mess in the session hall that is there now. So, we come back to the problem of “profit”, stated Oleksandr Danchenko in his speech.
It should be noted that according to the IT Association of Ukraine, in 2018, the IT industry (without telecommunications) grew by 20% and paid 10 billion hryvnias in taxes to the state budget. Industry participants noted they were not going to stop there. Ukraine is a known player in the export market of IT services and solutions. But it can generate much more financial and infrastructural resources inside the country. The most important thing for the market is a system of transparent public-private partnership. The state should be an ally for the sake of integration of the digital economy elements. Business is ready to cooperate and invest financial and intellectual resources.