Russian society is ready to make a breakthrough. The high level of education and the potential of our science enable us to take our place in the post-industrial economy," former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev told a gathering of some 1,000 at the Massachusetts Software Council meeting in Boston last week.
Gorbachev came down firmly on the side of outsourcing in the former Soviet Union republics of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. He noted that those three countries had nearly $1 billion worth of IT exports last year.
"We are following India closely. India today is the leader. So we will support outsourcing," said Gorbachev, citing new technology parks that are being constructed in the Russian cities of St. Petersburg and Moscow to accommodate the expanding industry.
Gorbachev also said that a union of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan could provide a competitor—or a partner—to the European Union and the United States because those countries constitute approximately 80 percent of the economic power of the former Soviet Union.
Gorbachev stressed, however, that worldwide inequality resulting from IT-generated prosperity, if not addressed, could derail international progress.
"If information technologies just work for the benefit of developed countries while the rest of the world continues to live in a predeveloped era—this is not the way to go," Gorbachev said.