Global Security: The Contribution of Information Technology and the Role of Russia
Mr. Sergey Kravchenko
President, Boeing Russia/CIS
Since I represent the American aerospace business community in Russia and I do not want to repeat what Tom Pickering has already discussed, I would like to give you a few examples of the projects that we at Boeing have developed in Russia most recently.
Over the last 10 years, we have signed $1.3 billion in direct contracts in Russia involving cooperation in space, cooperation in commercial airplanes, and the purchase of titanium. We have thousands of people working for us in Russia who do not need to leave Russia; they remain Russian citizens, and actually belong to the Russian enterprises where they got their education and were raised. We believe that this is the best sign that Boeing is committed to developing a long-term relationship with Russia and not to destroying the industry or stealing the best minds to ship elsewhere. This creates thousands of jobs in Russia in the high-technology sector. But we have also learned that the information-technology sector, which is not so capital intensive for our business, is no less important than buying aerospace titanium or building an international space station or selling an airplane.
THE CAPABILITIES OF RUSSIAN IT COMPANIES
About five years ago, we made a decision that information technology would become one of the important parts of our projects that involve the Boeing strategy in Russia. We did a pretty intensive study of Russia's capabilities and visited about 20 companies throughout the country. Then we narrowed down our interest to five companies, and currently work actively with three.
The results have been outstanding. To give you an idea, The Boeing Company worked for about 15 years with India, outsourcing hundreds of millions of dollars of our IT work there. In just three years, Russia has become our number 2 supplier, and the growth rate of Russian IT companies working with Boeing is excellent. While in India you can find a very cost-effective and very disciplined approach, in Russia you can actually find technologies that you need or work together with Russian personnel to develop those technologies. And, something that is really important in today's world, you can do it extremely cost effectively. If you have a very tough information-technology mission to fulfill and a very tight schedule, come to Russia and work with companies like IBS and a few others, and you'll get it done-on schedule, on budget, and on a high technology level.
THE ROLE OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY IN GLOBAL SECURITY
Why do I think addressing this workshop is such a great opportunity? Actually, we do not need much of your help: you are policy makers and advisers to governments, and we do not need your help to promote working with the IT industry in Russia on airplanes and commercial ventures. But Boeing is a major aerospace company, and as such has a huge responsibility to contribute to world stability, world security, and world peace. Many of our products may help in this arena, in such areas as missile defense and fighting cyberterrorism. In the future, however, all of those products will be 100% dependent on the stability of information-technology systems.
This is where we need your help: we need you to convince your governments-and I know that the presidents of the United States and of Russia are already thinking about this-to begin bringing together the best minds to work on this new level of complexity and the challenges that relate to global security, global stability, and world peace.
AREAS FOR COOPERATION
One of the focuses of this workshop is network-centric operations. But I would like you to think about how it relates to cyberterrorism-about the damage it can cause to financial stability, not only through people who can walk into a bank and rob it but through people who can destroy financial IT networks. This is an area where the Russian information-technology sector can be enormously helpful in cooperative efforts. While it is still very young-and, by the way, mostly privately owned because it began developing in Russia during only the last 10 to 15 years-it has drawn the best minds, the best Ph.D.s, the best professors from the most famous Russian universities, from the Russian Academy of Sciences. And it has been so easy to develop business relationships with companies like IBS and others.
Several speakers at the workshop, including Dr. Lukin, Ambassador Pickering, and Ambassador Vershbow, are also addressing the issue of global opportunities for missile defense. A big part of this issue is IT related. After September 11, Boeing developed a special company to work with homeland security issues, first of all for the United States but also to work with the best technology experts all over the world; so this is another important area for cooperation.
Following September 11, Dr. Condoleeza Rice said several times that she would like to see the best minds of this world working together to fight terror. When I relate her wish to my panel's subject, I think about the best experts in the IT industry working together in the United States, Europe, Asia, and Russia to accomplish this mission.
Currently there are many people involved in IT work for commercial purposes, including commercial satellites and commercial airplanes. But in the new area of IT-related security measures, we will need a great deal of your help as policy makers and government advisers to create the environment that will make security solutions and peace possible. In that environment, our industries are ready to move ahead.