IT outsourcing is one of the perennial growth hope stories for Ukraine, drawing its inspiration from the Soviet tradition of science teaching, and the country’s plethora of scientific institutes that used to churn out rocket scientists. Under market conditions, the schools have switched to producing programmers – an estimated 16,000 new IT specialists graduate each year.
So it was symbolic that in 2011, Ukraine’s IT services export exceeded the volume of arms exports for the first time ever, clocking up $1bn. The figure marked a tenfold increase over the last 10 years, with the sector booming even through the chaos of the financial crisis – at 30-40 per cent per annum, according to government figures. Outsourcing tracker Sourcingline now put Ukraine as the world’s 26th most attractive outsourcing location. With the $1bn exports in 2011 still only a drop in the estimated $250bn world market, it has huge potential.