PM invites IT sector to tap Pakistan potential

Terms hosting APICTA awards for the first time ‘a great honour’ for the country


APP December 08, 2022

ISLAMABAD:

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday said Pakistan had enormous untapped potential in the information technology (IT) sector and invited foreign companies and experts to fully explore the indigenous talented youth bulge of the country.

The prime minister was addressing the inauguration ceremony of the 21st Asia Pacific ICT Alliance (APICTA) Awards 2022. The event was organized by the Pakistan software houses association ([email protected]) and the TechDestination for IT and information technology enabled services (ITES) in collaboration with the ministry of information technology and telecommunication (MoITT).

Recognized as the ‘Oscars of the Asian IT industry’ and popularly called the APICTA Awards, the 2022 edition is being held in Islamabad, from December 7-11.

“60 percent of the country’s population is youth,” he said, adding: “This is a challenge as well as an opportunity to convert this potential into opportunity.”

The prime minister said Pakistan’s total IT export hovered around $2.6 billion, which did not fully reflect the immense potential.

He mentioned that he had chaired a number of meetings to mull over how to galvanize the youth and enhance the IT sector.

Quoting experts, he said they had concluded that a target of around $5 billion annually in IT export could be easily achieved.

The ceremony was attended by Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb, officials, delegates, IT experts and representatives of companies.

The prime minister said more than 19,000 ICT companies were currently registered in Pakistan, which were spread over 160 cities across Pakistan.

Pakistan’s ICT industry was exporting state-of-the-art products and services to 169 countries and territories, he added.

“Let’s work together at an enhanced pace to reduce the digital divide and enhance the growth of ICT Industry and technology trade amongst the 16-member APICTA countries,” he added.

He said it was a great honour for Pakistan to host the awards for the first time.

The event is being attended by 16 economies of the region, with more than 150 foreign delegates from countries including Malaysia, Australia and Singapore.

On the occasion, Minister for IT Syed Amin Ul Haque said that the world was becoming IT dependent and Pakistan was striving for a knowledge-based economy.

Chairman APICTA, Stan Singh-Jit, in his speech, said that he had voted for holding of the awards event in Pakistan because the country had never hosted such an event and had great talented people in the sector.

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