Govt to incentivize IT & Telecom sector to achieve $5 billion export target: PM

ISLAMABAD, Oct 6 (APP): Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif Thursday assuring full support to IT and Telecom sector through comprehensive package in consultation with the industry leaders, said that it should achieve an annual export target of $ 5 billion.

The government was committed to facilitating the expansion and growth of IT and Telecom sector, which had great potential, he added.

The Prime Minister was presiding over a meeting of IT Task Force held here to devise an aggressive strategy for the development of Information Technology (IT) and Telecom sector in the country.

The meeting was attended by IT Minister Syed Amin ul Haque, Finance Minister Muhammad Ishaq Dar, Minister of State for Finance Dr Aisha Ghous Pasha, Advisor to PM Ahad Cheema, Special Assistan to PM on Youth Affairs Shaza Fatima Khawaja, representatives of the IT and Telecom sector and senior government officers, a press release issued by the PM Media Wing here said.

The Prime Minister said that potential of IT and Telecom sector required to be unpacked, adding that the government will provide all facilitation and policy support to address the problems to make it a robust sector of the country. 

He asked Minister for Finance Muhammad Ishaq Dar to convene a meeting of the Task Force on his return from Washington and firm up the policy recommendations.

The plans, the Prime Minister said, were underway to strengthen the working of IT training and incubation centers, call centers, telcos, sovereign technology parks (STP), software houses and freelancing for exponential growth of this promising service sector.

He  was briefed that with a workforce of around 40,000 IT professionals, Pakistan had a thriving IT & Telecom sector. With an annual IT exports of $ 2.6 billion, it was the 4th largest freelancers’ market and the 3rd largest reseller on Amazon worldwide. Pakistan has around 195 million mobile phone users with a growing mobile phone manufacturing capacity.

The Prime Minister was told that in order to exploit its full growth potential, a rigorous perception building and marketing campaign was direly needed to position Pakistan as IT outsourcing hub in the world, especially for all potential IT export destinations in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region.

Moreover, a comprehensive package to ease SBP, FBR and SECP regulations for IT & Telecom sector was also need of the hour.

The Prime Minister directed the authorities concerned to take all possible measures for the promotion and growth of IT & Telecom sector in the country.