KARACHI - Federal Minister for Information Technology Syed Amin-ul-Haq on Thursday expressed his resolve and determination to take Pakistan to the forefront of the digital world with a futuristic vision.
The minister, while addressing the graduation ceremony of 8th and 9th Cohorts of National Incubation Centre Karachi (NICK) at NED University of Engineering and Technology, said that multifaceted efforts were required by all the stakeholders for materializing the Vision 2025.
The federal minister said that dedicated efforts by the Ministry resulted in the surge of Pakistan’s IT exports to $2.6 billion while we were fully determined to enhance the figure to $15 billion in the coming years.
Following the vision of Digital Pakistan, the IT Ministry has taken multiple steps for the promotion of the sector which resulted in the expansion of internet connectivity, broadband and cellular coverage in the country, he said, adding that, nowadays, the number of mobile phone subscribers in the country had reached at 195 million against the earlier figure of 160 million in FY 2018-19.
Referring to smart phone manufacturing in Pakistan, Amin ul Haq said that 22 million smart phones had been manufactured in the country that had ensured the availability of smart phone at a lower price. “For the first time, smart phone was exported from the country as well”, he revealed.
The IT sector has attracted foreign direct investment of $7.1 billion while the sector has contributed taxes of Rs11.20 billion to national kitty, he added.
The minister said that the Ministry’s Universal Service Fund was working to improve broadband services for providing digital services to the population living in remote underserved areas of all the four provinces.
The National Incubation Centre Karachi (NICK) played a significant role in promoting entrepreneurship and the successful startups created a valuable number of employment opportunities, he stated.
Gaming and animation is a vast field of IT sector at global level but the field has been neglected in the past, he observed, adding that Pakistan’s share in multi-billion dollar market was negligible.
Two centres of excellence in Gaming and Animation will be established at Karachi and Lahore with an estimated cost of Rs.2.2 billion, the minister informed, adding that one of them would be in the NED University.
Speaking at the occasion, Vice Chancellor of NED University Dr. Sarosh Hashmat Lodhi informed that NED University would soon launch NED Science and Technology Park.
CEO Ignite, Asim Shahryar Husain stressed on the need of mobilizing domestic investment and suggested that NICK should conduct education workshops with investors and industrialists for the purpose.
PD NICK Faizan Laghari briefed that 11 cohorts had been inducted at the centre so far, 299 startups got incubated while 130 achieved graduation. NICK leads other incubation centers of the country in terms of startup facilitation, investment, job creation and revenue generation, he claimed.
The ceremony concluded with the distribution of graduation certificates to the successful entrepreneurs by the federal minister while different members of startups graduated in the 8th and 9th Cohorts of NICK shared their success stories with the audience as well.