IT sector generates $3b revenue per yeard

Commerce adviser discusses issues faced by sector, directs ministry to address them


APP July 25, 2020

ISLAMABAD:

Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood has revealed that Pakistan’s information technology (IT) sector is generating revenue of approximately $3 billion annually.

Speaking in an online meeting on Friday, the adviser said of the total, $2.5 billion was fetched through exports and $500 million was generated in the domestic market, adding that Pakistan was ranked ninth in the world as a “booming digital economy”.

The adviser met a delegation of Pakistan Software Houses Association ([email protected]), led by its President Jehan Ara. The delegation appreciated the collaboration between [email protected] and the Ministry of Commerce for the promotion and facilitation of domestic and cross-border e-commerce in Pakistan. The association requested continuation of the same zeal and momentum for growth of IT and IT-enabled services.

Dawood highlighted the importance of increasing exports and recognised the country’s potential.

[email protected] emphasised the importance of encouraging the private sector’s role in meeting government needs for IT and IT-enabled services.

[email protected] members mentioned that the size of domestic IT industry was directly linked to export enhancement, therefore, the private sector’s participation was extremely important.

The allocation of shares for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) was also discussed for promoting such units and start-ups.

The delegation presented some proposals for accelerating growth and improving global competitiveness of Pakistan’s IT sector. The suggestions included tax incentive schemes for the IT sector, creation of special technology zones, “Make-in-Pakistan” initiatives and establishing an export marketing fund.

The adviser noted the bottlenecks faced by the IT sector and directed the commerce ministry to start work on removing them. He added that effective use of financing schemes of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) should be ensured for the benefit of IT sector.

Issues being faced by the start-ups and freelancers were discussed and the adviser assured them of all possible assistance by the ministry.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 25th, 2020.

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