Danchenko: Ukraine is twenty years behind. We need to shift from a raw material model to the digital economy

The digital industry is the second in terms of GDP growth in our country. Yet, Ukraine is almost the only country in the world that still does not have a ministry for this industry,” said Oleksandr Danchenko, chair of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Informatization and Communication. At the Ukrainian Week in London, he opened IT Day, during which panel discussions are held on various aspects of the innovative development of Ukraine and its place in the global digital community. During the opening, Danchenko emphasized the importance of digitalization for the development of the country.

First of all, digitalization kills corruption. Therefore, digital reforms in Ukraine are so difficult to push. Each new electronic service takes away big shadow incomes from a particular official. That means that political will is needed for its implementation, “The government should let carry out the digital transformation in such a way that will not protect corrupt officials. This is not happening here.”

Secondly, administrative reform. As long as the Cabinet of Ministers does not have somebody responsible for the digital economy, nothing will change. “This part of the administrative reform kills a significant part of corruption in the state institutions themselves. Because by means of optimizing and creating a single body we can save a billion hryvnias per year,” says Danchenko. There are such ministries in Poland, Great Britain, and Estonia — in all countries except Ukraine.

Next: the legal framework. The people’s deputy says that the block of seven laws has already been prepared and registered in the parliament. “We are talking about electronic communications, the radio frequency resource, electronic public registries, cloud computing, applications to the law on electronic trust services, a new bill on cybersecurity, taxation of cryptocurrency. The Verkhovna Rada must adopt these things if it is really interested in the development of Ukraine and the transition from a raw material economy to the digital one. For example, we have not yet voted for the law on electronic communications and therefore we are twenty years behind the rest of the world.”

We should also create an internal consumption market for domestic IT companies and incentive taxation for the IT industry.

Danchenko concludes, “Construction of a digital infrastructure is the number one task for Ukraine! Only when at least 95 percent of the country’s territory and at least 95 percent of its citizens will have access to high-speed Internet, we will be able to speak of a full-fledged deployment of the digital economy.”

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