Emerging IT industry of Pakistan

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Pakistan is said to be one of the largest economic blind spots in the world as the country is well placed to play an emergent role in the global economy over the next decade. However, to attain its potential, it is very important that Pakistan places the primary building blocks at the right direction in order to create an enabling environment to establish an ecosystem favorable for development. It should be supported by suitable policies and guidelines to increase speed and encourage innovation. This has already been demonstrated in the recent past by other economies in Asia Pacific.

Indeed, there is no quicker way to accelerate economic growth than the holistic digitisation of the economy. The great news is that public and private sector in Pakistan is enthusiastic and ready to take up this challenge. Sometimes back World Bank has highlighted Pakistan’s distinguished development about the ease of doing business due to numerous reforms in order to speed up and rationalize procedures for getting construction permits, online tax payments as well as registering property. on the other hand, regardless of moving up to number 108 in last year’s ranking (from 136 in 2019 and 147 in 2018), Pakistan is still behind the other middle-income economies such as Kazakhstan (25), India (63) and Indonesia (73).

According to the World Economic Forum’s latest Global Competitiveness Report 2020, Pakistan is likewise placed (110 out of 141 nations) in the scoring greatly for market size but lower the South Asia average for numerous other gauges.  As organic GDP growth contracts, additional growth is obligatory mainly relating to the declaration of commercial arguments, labour market elasticity. Once done it will certainly strengthen Pakistan’s exterior insight of candidness to business and a feasible locality for investment.

The incumbent government in Pakistan has recognized the worth of digital technologies and proficiency to improve inclusion, support research and innovation, and unchain economic competitiveness. In May 2018, the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication attained approval from federal cabinet for starting work on Digital Pakistan, which included 12 objectives. The strategy aspired to employ ICT as a tactical enabler for sectoral revolution, economic development and an improved quality of life for citizens. In December 2019, based on suggestions from Ministry of Information and technology, the Prime Minister Imran Khan initiated his vision for the flagship Digital Pakistan policy. The basic objective of the policy was to bring online public services and stimulate the potential of youth and women.

The digital Pakistan policy further has had five priority areas which included, Access & Connectivity, Digital Infrastructure,  E-Government, Digital Skilling & Training and Innovation & Entrepreneurship. While further explaining these prioritiy areas it is pertinent to mention that, access and connectivity basically explains the access to internet and the information is a fundamental right for all Pakistanis. The same way, digital infrastructure refers to construct a “Pakistan Stack” that permits government, business & startups to operate a digital infrastructure to resolve issues and move towards presence-less, paperless & cashless service delivery.

E- Government focuses on contemporary Digitize intra-government procedures to head towards a paperless environment. It also focuses on Digitization of Pakistani citizen & business communication with government services. Pakistan citizen portal and many other applications are evident examples of this particular strategy or priority. Digital skilling and training revolves around the idea of an evolution to a knowledge economy by enhancement of our on hand capacity along with equipping our future generation. It also enhances the idea of going up to the value chain by quickly imparting the emerging technical skills.

Innovation and entrepreneurship put emphasis on the need to make it uncomplicated for investors to come and invest and ease for startups to activate and develop to further grow country’s economy while enabling Pakistan to get a global playing field. The present decade will consequently be a crucial stage in Pakistan’s national development voyage and the enlargement of the ICT sector in the country. Pakistan has a vast youth population, with more than 100 million citizens under the age of 25.

Engrossing this demographic into the labour force means the economy must develop quicker than it has over the past five years. Currently, Pakistan is all set to double its IT industry in two years by setting up devoted tech zones across the country.  It is expected that Pakistan may open a dozen such zones by next year.  Through Special technology zone authority Pakistan is offering a 10-year waiver on corporate tax and imports of any equipment or construction material desirable for the areas, which will provide Pakistan’s IT industry a catapult push in quest of doubling its size to as much as $6 billion in coming 2 years.

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