‘Pakistan eyes $3.5bn IT exports in 2021-22’

It Exports 789x444 1 - 'Pakistan eyes $3.5bn IT exports in 2021-22'

ISLAMABAD: The government’s prudent economic policies start paying dividends as Pakistan’s IT sector is poised to grow exponentially in the coming months and years with the IT exports growing from $2.1 billion to an approximate $3.5 billion this fiscal year.

The IT industry in Pakistan is burgeoning and the government is taking the right steps for its further growth, including enhancing number of IT graduates from 25,000 to 50,000, setting up software technology parks in large to 2nd tier cities, improving access to capital by IT companies, reducing tax disputes, enhancing financial structure of IT companies and listing them at the stock exchange.

These were some of the views expressed at a webinar organised by the Consulate General of Pakistan Toronto on the theme of “Pakistan Canada IT Cooperation: Connecting the Dots,” said a statement issued here on Tuesday.

The objectives of the webinar were to provide a platform for interaction between Pakistan origin ITC professionals in Canada and IT industry and academia from Pakistan.

The panelist of the webinar included Managing Director Pakistan Software Export Board Osman Nasir, ex-President Pakistan Software House Association Barkan Saeed, President CM Inc. Canada Hassan Naqvi, Dean School of Mathematics & Computer Science IBA Karachi Dr Shakeel Ahmad Khoja, Co-founder and Co-CEO Techlogix Kewan Khawaja, CEO of Mobile Live Canada Jahan Ali, Founder iSecurity Consulting Canada Raheel Qureshi, and Managing Partner GoSaaS Inc. Hassan Ramay.

In his opening remarks Consul General of Pakistan in Toronto Abdul Hameed stated that it is widely believed that Pakistan has the potential to claim a much higher share of the market than it currently enjoys. He also shared the statistics about the size and growth trajectory of ICT sector of Canada, and highlighted the key sectors within the ICT sector which witnessed high growth and the top ICT players in Canada.

Osman Nasir said large technology parks are being set up in the mega cities, in addition to establishing software technology parks in second/third tier cities. He further mentioned that steps are being taken for increasing access to capital by IT companies, reducing tax disputes, enhanced understanding of the financial structure of IT companies and their listing at stock exchanges, through relevant stakeholders.

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Barkan Saeed, Ex-President PASHA, presented an overview of the ITC industry in Pakistan. He mentioned that the government plans to increase the number of IT graduates from 25,000 to 50,000 in a couple of years. He was of the view that, in 2022, the exports from the IT sector would touch USD3.5 billion, from USD2.1 billion in 2021.

Hassan Naqvi said the quality and skill of Pakistani IT professionals was high. However, he opined that the major issue hampering Pakistan’s growth in North America is perception. Once people come and see Pakistan they will love it, and will like to visit again.

Dr. Shakeel Ahmad Khoja shared the view that many universities in Pakistan are facing the challenge of ensuring quality of IT courses being offered. He informed that IBA is teaching both core courses (which provide for the foundational basis), and applied courses, which are industry driven. He stressed the need for huge investment in development of high-quality faculty in the country.

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