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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s ICT industry export remittances, including telecommunication, computer and information services increased to $1.298 billion at a growth rate of 41.43 percent during July–February of current fiscal year 2020-21 compared to $917.840 million during the same period of last year.

This was stated by spokesperson of the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication, while talking to Business Recorder, here on Wednesday. The government has formulated an IT Exports Strategy Model based on six pillars including ease of doing business and cost factors and infrastructure inline with the changing technologies and market conditions to ensure holistic growth of IT sector, the official added.

Special priority is being given to setting up software technology parks in relatively underdeveloped areas to ensure holistic growth of IT sector across Pakistan.

He said that discussions have been matured for establishment of software technology parks in Bannu, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, and Hyderabad.

The Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB) website is being revamped to make it more receptive to the industry and the PSEB is also in the process of finalising another website, which is likely to be launched soon and is specifically designed to attract international technology companies towards Pakistan.

The official said that the PSEB, the attached department of Ministry of IT and Telecom, would be setting up a dedicated office in Quetta soon for the development of the IT industry in Balochistan.

The MD PSEB, Osman Nasir, said that the PSEB is extending maximum facilitation to the IT industry in order to enhance exports of IT products and services from Pakistan and ensure holistic IT industry growth. He said the multi-pronged efforts are bearing fruit as the number of IT companies registered with the Security and Exchange Commission of Pakistan has surged to over 10,000.

Fiscal year 2020-21 witnessed the largest number of IT Company registrations, with 2,826 companies registered with the SECP.

This performance is especially laudable in view of the global economic slowdown, demonstrating the resilience of Pakistan’s IT industry ecosystem, he added.

The MD PSEB said Karachi, Islamabad, and Lahore have become Pakistan’s major tech hubs leading IT industry’s exports growth. The next phase of Pakistan’s IT/ITeS growth would come from focus on secondary and tertiary cities of Pakistan. The PSEB’s office in Quetta would follow an all-inclusive approach for laying the foundation stone of rapid industry growth in the province which would generate sustainable economic growth and job opportunities, he said.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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