PM pushes for IT sector expansion


Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday directed the submission of a comprehensive roadmap to boost IT exports. He stated that the government would take steps to fully utilise the billion-dollar potential of the country for IT exports, and ensure that young people are provided with the necessary facilities for education, skills development, and startups.

The prime minister chaired a review meeting on the IT and Telecom sector, attended by Minister for Finance Muhammad Aurangzeb, Minister for Economic Affairs and Establishment Ahad Khan Cheema, Minister of State for IT Shaza Fatima Khawaja, Governor State Bank of Pakistan Jameel Ahmed, Shahzad Saleem, and other relevant senior officials, PM Office Media Wing said in a press release. During the meeting, the prime minister highlighted the positive outcomes witnessed from the initiation of different projects in the IT sector during their previous tenure.

He stressed the resolution of all issues faced by startups, freelancers, and IT companies relating to banking. Expressing satisfaction over the current year’s IT export volume of more than $3 billion, he emphasised its further increase. He observed that to bring Pakistan’s IT sector to international standards, rigorous efforts are required.

ReadIT sector aims for $15 billion export boost


The prime minister also requested the submission of a comprehensive report regarding special technology zones. The meeting was briefed on progress regarding the IT package announced by the prime minister in June 2023. Due to the special attention of PM Sharif during the previous tenure, IT exports witnessed a 13% increase during the first seven months of the current fiscal year compared to the previous corresponding year.

Under the Digiskills programme, a total of 4 million students from 17 batches, including 28% females, have been imparted training. Pakistan has emerged as the second top country in the world based on the number of freelancers. Additionally, Pakistan is exporting IT products to 170 countries worldwide.

The meeting was informed that during the previous year, an investment of $400 million was made in Pakistani startups. The prime minister directed the necessary legal and policy-related steps to attract investment and boost IT exports. He also called for expediting work on projects meant to enhance professional and technical training for youth to fully utilise the potential in the IT sector. The meeting was also briefed on the progress of IT, E-Rozgar, startups, cybersecurity, the telecom sector, and the launch of 5G.

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