Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB) conducted a successful seminar with a large number of C-level executives from the IT industry at PC Karachi on November 13th.
The event started with a welcome address by PSEB’s Director Marketing, Mr. Sulman Hassan. Then Mr. Zia Banday from Pak China Investment Company talked about the IT outsourcing opportunities for Pakistani companies in China, which is the 2nd biggest outsourcing market after USA.
Mr. Zia also mentioned that Pakistan’s Consul General in China is planning a Pak China Software forum in Shenzhen from December 15th to 16th which will be attended by many Chinese companies. He urged the Pakistani companies to attend this forum to take advantage of the outsourcing opportunities in China.
This was followed by a speech by Ms. Jehan Ara, President Pakistan Software Houses Association ([email protected]) who highlighted the IT industry’s achievements and success stories. She recommended that small IT companies need to partner with each other to win big outsourcing projects because one company cannot fulfill all requirements of the client.
This was followed by a comprehensive presentation by PSEB’s new Managing Director, Mr. Asim Shahryar Husain, who talked about PSEB’s contribution to the IT industry over the last decade as well as PSEB’s plans for future. He mentioned that PSEB has supported the IT industry through different programs including Software Technology Parks (STPs), ISO and CMMI certifications, international marketing through events and delegations, IT internships, IT trainings, and many other programs.Over the last decade, PSEB has spent more than Rs. 0.5 billion on these industry support programs. However, IT exports as reported by State Bank for 2013-14 were only $370 million.
Mr. Asim emphasized that IT exporters should use one of 6 state bank codes when reporting foreign remittances received. Otherwise, those remittances will not be recorded under IT exports. He also mentioned that PSEB is planning new initiatives for the IT industry in future including new research studies on outsourcing market, IT incubators, ISO consultancies, new IT events, and new STPs. He also mentioned that PSEB is going to acknowledge and reward the top IT exporters for 2014-15 at next year’s event.
Mr. Asim hoped that these new initiatives and better reporting will take IT exports as reported by State Bank to at least $500 million by 2016 and $1 billion by 2020.
This was followed by an interactive panel discussion with CEOs of different IT companies which was moderated by Mr. Ali Hasani, Director Operations PSEB.
The audience suggested new markets for Pakistani companies including Central Asia, Middle East, and North Africa and that Pakistani companies should hire salespersons in these regions to grow their outsourcing business. Some CEOs also suggested that the new tax of 17% on IT services which has been imposed since July 2014 by provinces of Sind, Punjab, and KPK has stunted the growth of the IT industry and that these provinces should abolish this new tax in 2015’s budget. MD PSEB assured the industry that PSEB would share their feedback with Ministry of IT.
The industry appreciated the MD’s plan and assured their full support to PSEB for increasing Pakistan’s IT exports. PSEB will conduct similar industry seminars in Islamabad and Lahore also.