Pakistan’s IT Sector has Potential to Increase its Exports to $50 Billion: President Alvi

President Dr. Arif Alvi, on Thursday, said that Pakistan’s information technology sector had the potential to increase its exports to $50 billion.

Speaking at an event to mark the achievements of startups in Pakistan, he said that it was heartening to note that Pakistani startups were developing an ecosystem that was a democratizing experience for online sellers and buyers.

He said that the government was taking measures to encourage the growth of information technology startups and ensure their access to bank loans at low-interest rates.

He observed that e-commerce had changed the traditional way of conducting trade. He underlined the need for bridging the gap between decision-makers, parliaments, and users of information technology.

It has become imperative for the developing world to take a leap forward in the age of information technology to speed up their economic progress, he added. He said that Pakistan could increase its agricultural production with the use of information technology applications.

The whole world had opened up and become a market for Pakistani companies with the integration of information technology, he continued. He called for further investment in upcoming technologies and startups besides investment in traditional industries.

He stressed that people should be made part of the digital landscape and given the necessary skill sets to benefit from digitalization. He further added that people could set up small and medium-sized businesses with the help of information technology and grow at a rapid pace. Examples were already set by many young Pakistanis who generated considerable income with their online ventures, the President remarked.

Small and medium enterprises were the backbone for economic growth, he remarked. President Alvi said that online education should be adopted as it was more effective than the customary education in the settings of brick and mortar.

He said that during the COVID pandemic, people had to resort to technologies like video conferencing and online tools for education and businesses, which could not have happened in normal circumstances.

The President said that open sourcing of education and availability of high-quality free lectures would help people make advances in their respective professions. Tremendous opportunities exist for digital inclusion of people and the use of information technology in all kinds of businesses, he remarked.

Dr. Alvi said that Pakistan’s farming sector should learn from the Netherlands, which has a smaller landmass compared to Pakistan but was the second highest producer of agriculture products. “Pakistani farmers will also have to make use of the latest techniques in farming.”

He expressed satisfaction that the startups were attracting huge investment from abroad because of their innovation and new ideas.

Dr. Alvi said that Pakistani startups had already made a huge impact on society with their services and were also generating considerable revenues for themselves. He said if the population would be educated it would become an asset for the country and not a burden. Women could also earn a living and contribute to the national economy by working from home, he added.

Business leaders in the IT sector and government representatives attended the event.