E-gateway to help boost Pakistan’s services exports

ISLAMABAD-Amid the current economic meltdown in Pakistan, the e-gateway service recently launched by the Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) has the potential to boost the country’s sagging exports by facilitating services exports.

The e-gateway is an online platform for engineers registered with PEC, connecting them with international businesses and investors. Through the e-gateway, foreigners can seek the required talent in Pakistan.Talking to WealthPK, former president of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Eng Daroo Khan Achakzai said that the e-gateway had tremendous potential to contribute to the country’s exports. “Pakistan is currently facing a shortage of foreign exchange. The e-gateway is, therefore, a right platform to contribute to the economy through channelising services of talented engineers in Pakistan,” he added.

It is pertinent to mention here that Pakistan’s services exports grew by 6.3% year-on-year in the first half of the current fiscal year as per the data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics. In absolute terms, services exports stood at $4.19 billion during the period. Daroo Achakzai stated that the e-gateway digital platform was expected to increase Pakistan’s services exports. It is to mention here that graduate unemployment is a major economic challenge in Pakistan, which the e-gateway portal can help address to a great extent. According to research done by Hafeez Pasha, former federal finance minister, graduate unemployment is hovering around 25%.

While discussing the importance of the e-gateway for creating job opportunities, Daroo Achakzai said, “A handsome number of engineers are either unemployed or underemployed in the country. The e-gateway will help reduce this unemployment rate in Pakistan.” He said interaction of global firms with local engineers would ensure knowledge spill-over. “Global firms are usually competitive and have better organisational structures. Working with such firms will polish the knowledge base of our engineers.” The former FPCCI president also commended the State Bank of Pakistan’s digital initiatives for promoting services exports. “The central bank has introduced digital accounts to boost IT and IT services-enabled exports. The IT-enabled services sector will now contribute more to the country’s economy. It will bring efficiency by reducing the transaction cost of exporters.” Global practices of business-employee interactions are changing. Developing countries like Pakistan can leverage this by offering talented human resources to global companies, and the e-gateway can do wonders in this regard.

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