The Consortium for Development Policy Research held a session of its Lahore Policy Exchange on “Realizing Pakistan’s IT export potential”on Friday, 31st January from 3:30pm to 5:00pm at 19-A FCC Scheme Maratab Ali Road, Gulberg IV, Lahore.
According to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) in Fiscal Year 17-18 Pakistan achieved record-high IT exports of $1.067 billion, comprising software exports of $700 million (30% year-on-year growth over the last five years). According to some estimates, Pakistan’s freelancers earned an additional $1.2 billion, an amount not recorded by the central bank. This places total ICT exports at around $2.5 billion. With an approximate 10,000 IT graduates entering the workforce annually, Pakistan is poised to further increase the size of the IT sector, as well as IT exports.
This demonstrates that the ICT sector has a direct impact on job creation, exports, and GDP growth. While traditional sectors such as large-scale manufacturing and agriculture face deep-rooted challenges such as entrenched lobbies and vested interests etc., the IT sector in comparison is much more flexible and can respond to favorable conditions much more rapidly.
To discuss the potential for increasing Pakistan’s IT exports and the reforms necessary to create the right enabling environment, the following panelists were invited:
1. Mr. Khurram Zafar, Founder LUMS Center for Entrepreneurship/National Incubation Center | Director Karandaaz Pakistan | Member Prime Minister’s Task force on Technology Driven Knowledge Economy
2. Mr. Murad Akhtar, CEO and Co-Founder Tintash
3. Mr. Jehanzaib Burana, CEO, Punjab Board of Investment & Trade
Mr. Usman Khan moderated the discussion.