UK assures co-op to develop Pakistan’s IT sector

ISLAMABAD - British Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General Rt Hon Francis Maude MP during his meeting with Minister of State for Information Technology Anusha Rahman, here on Monday, assured utmost cooperation of his government in the area of cyber security, digital governance, IT exports and other areas of mutual interest for the further development of IT sector in Pakistan.
This assurance was given after the Pakistani side apprised the UK delegation about the efforts and challenges, the country was facing in uprooting terrorism.
“We are devising a holistic cyber law to deal with the issues of spamming and identity theft in order to provide cyber security to the internet users. Moreover, we are also carrying out SIMs verification all over the country in order to curb the SIMs related crimes,” the minister was quoted as saying to the UK delegation.
She welcomed the UK offer and said that mutual collaboration between UK and Pakistan in cyber security area would be highly beneficial for both the countries.
The visiting delegation was informed that the number of broadband and 3G/4G subscribers has grown up to 3.8 million & 3.6 million respectively. She also said that there were still immense opportunities for foreign investors in the upcoming spectrum auction of 20MHZ in 850& 1800MHZ bands.
She informed the delegation that Pakistan’s IT exports are more than 1.5 billion dollars per annum, which is 11 times higher than the last decade and the government is striving to take it up to $4 billion by 2020.
Briefing about the incentives for the new investments, the British delegation was apprised that the government was offering tax holidays on IT exports, 100 percent equity and 100 percent repatriation of the profits.
Anusha Rahman further said that Pakistan has huge number of English speaking IT experts and professionals who are providing quality IT services to their international customers and the government of Pakistan encourages investors and customers from UK to explore business opportunities in our IT sector and Pakistan intends to see its IT export increase in the next 2-3 years.
She said, for this purpose PSEB will lead a delegation of CEOs of IT companies to UK in second half of this year. Such exchange of delegations will certainly promote bilateral business and trade relations between UK & Pakistan.
The British minister said UK is very keen to work in the sphere of cyber security which is the concern of everyone across the world.
British High Commission Philip Barton, and other officials from British High Commissioner were accompanying the delegation.

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