Monday, February 1, 2021

Firms Outside of Moscow Prefer to Import Technology Rather than Developing Their Own, New Study Shows

 Paul Goble

            Staunton, January 31 – A problem with much of Russian industry, the unwillingness or inability to develop technologies on its own, is even more serious outside the Russian capital than it is within it, according to the first broad Russian investigation to disaggregate the data (

            This study was carried out by Vlada Brilliantova of the Ministry for Digital Development and her colleagues at the Higher School of Economics. It has been published as “Technological Diversity and Production of Advanced Productive Technologies in Russian Regions” (in Russian, Ekonomika Regiona 16(4) (2020) at

            Brilliantova and her colleagues conclude that the chances for Russian enterprises to carry out the process of technological modernization with the resources they have available are limited” and that they prefer to import ready-made high-tech goods either from Moscow or from foreign countries.

            Demand for high-tech equipment in the regions increased by a third between 2011 and 2018, but “fewer than 20 percent of the organizations met that requirement for such goods with their own resources.” Instead, “the majority acquired such technologies in Russia or from abroad.”

            The study also concluded that the more urbanized and economically advanced the region, the more likely its firms would try to meet such needs from within their ranks or from local suppliers while the less urban and more economically laggard areas are doing far less in this regard. That is especially the case with agrarian areas.

            The authors say that their research “for the first time offers statistical data on the spread of productive technologies in the regions.” But critics argue that their research is not without “important limitations” ( In most cases, they used regionally aggregated and older data thus limiting the value of their conclusions.

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