Pakistan earns only $1b from IT exports

ISLAMABAD-The Pakistan Business Forum (PBF) has said the IT sector can help the country increase export earnings, create jobs, reduce unemployment and fight corruption. While addressing a meeting on Wednesday, the President of PBF Omar Shahid Butt said that Pakistanis are the most talented people in the region but some problems are keeping them from using their potential to make Pakistan a great country, it said. IT sector is not getting due attention while the business community is not very interested in this area which has a negative impact on investments and competition, said Omar Shahid Butt, President PBF. He said that Pakistan earns around one billion dollars through IT exports while the size of the Indian IT market stands at $181 billion while their exports are $137 billion. Almost two hundred Indian IT companies are doing business in eight countries while the situation in Pakistan is different, he added. He said that Bangladesh has also surpassed Pakistan which has clinched the second position in providing online labour which is reducing unemployment and generating revenue. He recalled that the PTI announced on 4th of July 2018 that if voted to power it will invest two billion dollars in the IT sector to boost exports and revenue and now the time has come to fulfil the promise. The business leader said that China has substantially reduced poverty with the help of IT and now it is one way to eliminate poverty. We can follow the Chinese example after some adjustments to make IT a success story in the country, he underlined. He noted that fourteen years back a 10-day country-wide Internet outage damaged the call centre business which is yet to fully recover therefore any disruption in the future should not be allowed. IT can also revolutionize health, education, industry, agriculture and other critical sectors, he said, adding that the government should announce incentives for investors, reduce taxes, increase research and development and relax investment regulations to boost this important sector.

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