Pakistan could play host to an extreme growth spurt in the information technology industry in the next 10 years, according to a study quoted by IBM’s Country General Manager Hamayun Bashir.
Speaking at a ceremony held to celebrate a century of IBM’s existence on Thursday, Bashir informed Pakistan may have up to one million jobs in the information technology industry by 2020.
“IBA students are working on a study with assistance from the Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s IT committee. The report, to be published in a few months, underlines that by 2020, Pakistan can easily have a million jobs and exports of $10 billion in the IT industry,” he asserted.
He expressed hope that the current figure of 0.15 million jobs in the industry could easily be increased. “I see a bright future for our industry, which is producing top-quality software,” said Bashir.
“We are meeting the IT ministry on behalf of Pasha – the chamber for IT in the country – to get officials to refocus on the sector,” said Bashir.
Commenting on the resignation of former IT minister Babar Awan, he said, “The minister was an important, focal point of the industry.”
“I have heard that the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is providing funds and a data centre will be created in Islamabad,” he said while talking about the e-government programme.
Replying to a complaint that large organisations in the country, such as banks, did not give projects to local firms, he said that there were up to 60 large companies in Pakistan which needed tried and tested software.
He, however, explained that there were at least 10,000 small companies that would not be able to afford services of large international firms and would have to adopt local software solutions, which would help the economy grow.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 15th, 2011.