ISLAMABAD: Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar on Thursday said that with a focus on training of human resource as per contemporary needs, enabling environment and by imbibing the spirit of entrepreneurship in the youth, the true potential of Pakistan s IT sector could be achieved, ARY News reported.
“This will turn-around and uplift our economy in short to medium term, Inshallah… I assure you of the government s full support to help you explore the untapped potential in Pakistan s IT sector,” he said addressing a Tech Destination Pakistan event which featured the launch of E-Rozgar Centers in the country.
He said the government through its Digital Policy envisioned bringing economic prosperity and citizen empowerment through digital transformation as it was working on the vision of “Digital Pakistan” through multiple cross-sectoral digital transformation initiatives.
He said the IT sector was the government s focus for achieving a sustainable economic development and realize the full potential of technological advancement.
The prime minister said that Pakistan had experienced significant growth in the information and communication technology sector in recent years. The country s ICT industry has become an important contributor to the economy, generating revenue, attracting FDI and creating jobs, he added.
“We are exporting IT and IT enabled services to more than 190 countries. Our IT industry is an integral part of the knowledge economy thereby earning its repute as a leading offshore outsourcing destination through innovation, availability of talent, government incentives and other initiatives for the IT sector. With over 90% Tele density, Pakistan was recently ranked as the 2nd most financially attractive destination in the world for offshore outsourcing of IT and IT enabled Services (ITeS). Pakistan was also ranked as the third most popular country for freelancing,” he said.
Prime Minister Kakar said the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) and its various committees had already started to deliver and perform their role in an active manner. Among other priority sectors, the inclusion of IT Sector under the umbrella of SIFC demonstrates the commitment of our government to further promoting the ICT industry.
“We believe that development of IT sector will bring huge benefits to the nation. It will help in creating more employment opportunities, increase revenues, lift service sector exports and boost foreign reserves.”
He said that Pakistan with its talented and skilled human resource base, digital infrastructure, entrepreneurial spirit, and vision to digital transformation was all set to become a knowledge-based economy.
The prime minister told the gathering of diplomats, civil and military officers, industry leaders, freelancers and entrepreneurs that Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB) had increased the number of Software Technology Parks (STPs) from eight across Pakistan to 30 now. We are in the process of establishment of another 40 Software Technology Parks in the smaller cities across Pakistan, he added.
Highlighting the milestones achieved by the government, he mentioned 50% foreign exchange retention, up-skilling and re-skilling of 100,000 individuals, centralized test for IT students, establishment of 10,000 Pakistan e-Rozgar Centers, Pakistan Startup Fund, approval of Digital Economy Enhancement Project (DEEP), approval of Telecom Infrastructure Sharing Framework, Establishment of Telecom Appellate Tribunal, and National Space Policy.
He said the government s efforts were leading Pakistan to emerge as one of the top online gig markets, with freelancers contributing from remote areas.
“The establishment of e-Rozgaar/Co-working centers across Pakistan, supported by interest-free loans and assistance in training costs, aims to enhance partner capacities. This initiative aims to create an ecosystem where talented individuals can thrive. These spaces will not only serve as physical locations for work but also as hubs for knowledge exchange, skill development, and networking,” he remarked.
In his address, Federal Minister for IT and Telecommunication Dr Umar Saif said the event was the continuation of the journey started six months ago under the Tech Destination initiative. He said the government was well on its way to achieve the goals as substantial work had been done in this regard.
Umar Saif said the government, under the SIFC, some radical steps had been taken to facilitate the IT firms which helped increase IT revenue by 13 percent during last month.
He called for promotion of specialized and globally competitive skills to make the youths immediately employable by the IT firms after their graduation.
The minister said the 65 E-Rozgar centers were already working in Punjab which had so far trained 80,000 people.
He said in order to scale up the program, 10,000 E-Rozgar Centers would be opened in the country which would also be given the status of Special Technology Zones to make them enjoy tax exemptions.
He told the gathering that starting from February, the government would launch a pilot project initially to enable 10,000 freelancers receive funds from PayPal which would be expanded later on.