“Romania has the largest number of IT professionals per thousand inhabitants in Europe and ranks sixth in the world” | matutinal

“Romania has the largest number of IT professionals per thousand inhabitants in Europe and ranks sixth in the world” | matutinal
“Romania has the largest number of IT professionals per thousand inhabitants in Europe and ranks sixth in the world” | matutinal

“Morning call” – Guest: Bogdan Ivan, Minister of Research, Innovation and Digitization.

“Morning call” – Guest: Bogdan Ivan, Minister of Research, Innovation and Digitization

Show: “Morning” – Column: “Morning Call” – Director: Daniela Petrican and Cătălin Cîrnu

Romania is the leader in Europe and in sixth place in the world in terms of the number of certified IT specialists per thousand inhabitants, higher than in the United States of America or Russia, according to a report made by the International Trade Administration, a government agency of United States.
Meanwhile, the strike at the Romanian Post Office ended, although the trade unionists declared that they were still dissatisfied. The guest of today’s “Morning Call” is Bogdan Ivan, Minister of Research, Innovation and Digitization. Good morning!

Good morning to you and the listeners!

We’ll talk about IT right away. Would there still be something to point out after the Romanian Post strike, will the discussions continue?

It is obvious that in the final form, which we agreed late last night, after five days of negotiation, we agreed together with the union representatives and the company management representatives on a form of the Collective Labor Agreement that had to be signed 115 days ago. In this form, we came up with an explicit salary increase of approximately 350-400 lei net for each of the company’s employees. This salary increase will consist of an increase in the average gross salary, plus the loyalty bonus. And in the form that I signed late last night, I specifically explained the conditions under which this increase will be made, obviously in a bipartisan way, in which the management of the company, but also the representatives of the unions are at the table to establish the algorithm in which this growth is made. Obviously that’s about what the unions asked for. It is obvious that, although it was not a very happy situation, so to speak, we agreed on this principle and the 21,500 employees of the Romanian Post have credibility for the way in which salaries will be paid in the next period and, most importantly , the millions of people who are waiting for pensions, social benefits, invoices from the Romanian Post Office can rest easy because they will receive them. In the context in which this contract will be registered at ITM today at 9:00,. in the second second, the general strike of the Romanian Post is suspended and thus we can say that we are in a phase in which we have reported a victory both for the employees and especially for those at home, who are waiting for the services of the Romanian Post.

Romanian Post, which is also going through a digitization process. But let’s go back to what Daniela said earlier, Romania is the leader in Europe and in sixth place in the world in terms of the number of IT specialists. This is according to a report made by a government agency of the United States of America. Where do these IT skills come from in Romania? Do we have a special penchant for information technology?

Now I don’t want to talk about our genetic background, because that would be too sophisticated, but what I want to say is that Romania today is both from the point of view of official data, as you said, has the largest number of IT professionals per thousand inhabitants in Europe and is in sixth place in the world, in a higher proportion than the United States of America or Russia from this point of view and thanks primarily to the school curriculum, thanks to first of all the way in which education is done. And, what they told me when I was talking to the big representatives of the world’s technology companies, thanks to the abilities to find solutions where often they don’t exist. It is a form of creativity that Romanians have and, from this point of view, we can say that the IT industry in Romania is worth approximately 10 billion euros annually. In recent years, the entire IT industry in Romania has grown two and a half times and what is very important is that at the moment this growth is doubled by a massive investment from the public sector. We are talking about 6 billion euros that are coming in as we speak, plus by 2026, on December 31, they will reach Romania throughout the public and private ecosystem, which will automatically lead to an exponential growth of the entire field. We have a huge potential both in terms of the Romanian market, but especially the international market. In the way we profiled together with employers in the IT industry, plus in that of research and innovation, we already profile ourselves as a solution provider for the countries of the Middle East, from the Central and Eastern Europe region, from North Africa, for that we have this great quality, and in my capacity as Minister of Research, Innovation and Digitization, I really want and have started a constant dialogue with IT companies in Romania, with universities, which are extremely important for new technologies , from cyber security to quantum computing, where we already have a strategy, to artificial intelligence, we are talking about preparing for the future of humanity and, from this point of view, the countries that will have competences in the information technology segment will obviously be the future leaders who will lead towards new horizons, so to speak. Romania is prepared in this segment and universities and schools have an extraordinarily important role in this direction.

And then I can’t help but ask you how much of this resource of IT specialists is left in the country?

At the moment, both in the remote system, because with the pandemic the dynamics of the labor market have changed a lot and a lot of our Romanians can be in Romania and work for multinational companies outside the country, today we have somewhere around 200,000 of IT-ists who are physically in Romania, and, another statistic that we are champions of, we are number two in Europe in terms of women who are in the IT&C segment, where four out of ten employees in the IT segment are women. At the moment we can say that compared to 2020 we have an increase of approximately 60,000 IT professionals. If in 2020 there were 140,000, today there are 200,000 IT professionals. And another piece of information, I say very important, is that Romania is the 3rd largest digital economy and the 2nd largest digital trade market in Central and Eastern Europe and this is really important, but more important is that the services produced by IT companies in Romania are taken outside the country and automatically bring money to Romania, which are spent in Romania, which bring added value to our country.

And in this whole picture that you have painted for us, we can’t talk about a paradox: Romania has so many IT&C specialists, but when it comes to digitization, are we moving a little harder?

If these IT&C specialists had the opportunity to work more in relation to the public administration in Romania, we would certainly be better off; and for me it is a huge paradox. And I am very happy with the partnership that I managed to create together with those in the industry. We often consult each other, we often discuss how we will develop this IT&C architecture of the Romanian state and from this point of view I want to tell you only two extremely important things: we managed to sign the execution contract for the unique application of to the Romanian state, which, I hope, we will have by the end of this year, and all those trips to the counters, some of them for those who are closer to technology, can be eliminated with just a few clicks directly from the phone , when we talk about: renewal of identity documents – license, bulletin, passport -, to obtain documents related to birth, death, marriage, about the registration of a car and, at the moment, we have some of the best specialists in Romania working on this level and we work with all the patronage of the software industry, together with universities to create that user experience that is really useful and friendly.

Mr. Minister, let’s take another example, the national health card system, which is frequently blocked at family doctors and pharmacies, what is happening with this IT platform?

Yes, it is a software and platform created about 15 years ago, which today has completely outdated technology. In December 20 or so, last year, together with the vice-president of the Health Insurance Company, Mr. Cristian Celea, we managed to save an amount of 100 million lei which is intended to restore the integration of this system. At the moment, the procedures for the public procurement have been completed and at the moment it is in the state of public procurement and this system is to be completely renewed, which today, as you rightly said, is cumbersome and almost non-functional. Moreover, I want to inform you that at the moment we are in the final phase, in ex-ante approval at the Public Procurement Agency for the newest technology existing today in the world in terms of governmental cloud, which we are financing from European funds and which automatically will give for the next 5 years, at least, the newest technology, both from the point of view of data processing, so that we are no longer in this situation, as you said, like at the Health Insurance House, and, moreover, it will have the newest technology that will be updated annually for the cyber security of data in Romania.

We also give a click, we also press the F5 key just to update everything, with thanks for the discussion we had today on “Morning Call”.

Sincerely, I am always a click away.

Thank you, Bogdan Ivan, Minister of Research, Innovation and Digitization, today’s guest of the “Morning Call”./editor Florin Lepadatu/

The article is in Romanian

Tags: Romania largest number professionals thousand inhabitants Europe ranks sixth world matutinal


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