Abb Takk News

Pakistan Has Enormous Untapped Potential In Information, Technology: PM

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister (PM) Shehbaz Sharif has said that Pakistan has enormous untapped potential in the Information and Technology (IT) sector and invited the foreign IT 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 Pakistan Software Houses Association (P@SHA) and TechDestination for IT and ITES, in collaboration with the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication (MoITT).

The prime minister said that no doubt, in the last decade or so, Pakistani entrepreneurs had made great strides to promote IT sector with individual and collective efforts. The government was also playing a proactive role to support these efforts.

Given the youth potential, he said, out of the total population, 60 percent of the country’s population comprised of youth.

“This is a challenge as well as an opportunity to covert this potential into opportunity,” he added.

The prime minister said Pakistan possessed huge potential to increase its IT export.

He said the country’s total IT export hovered around $2.6 billion dollars which did not fully reflect the immense talent. Pakistan has the huge strength to enhance this target to billions of dollars, he observed.

The prime minister mentioned that he had chaired a number of meetings to mull as to how galvanize their youth and enhance the IT sector.

He said they had concluded that a target of around $5 billion dollars annually in the IT export could be easily achieved, adding he had invited the IT experts and the youth to come forward and carve out a plan to achieve this target.

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

The prime minister elaborated that during his tenure as ‘Chief servant of Punjab province’, he promoted IT with various initiatives, taken in a big way, in the health and education and revenue collection sectors.

He said they also provided laptops to the high achievers. Besides, booklets were also distributed among the students and teachers all over Punjab, he added.

By all accounts, the prime minister said, it was a very good exercise taken by his government in the province.

The prime minister said more than 19,000 ICT companies were currently registered in Pakistan, comprising domestic and export-oriented enterprises spread across 160 cities across Pakistan.

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

The prime minister expressed confidence that the forum would provide huge impetus to their efforts to boost the IT sector.

The prime minister said that Pakistan actively solicited and advocated enhanced cooperation and collaboration in the ICT sector with APICTA members.

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

He also appreciated Chairman APICTA Stan Singh-Jit for voting and supporting Pakistan to host the event.

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