PM Shehbaz Inaugurates 21st APICTA Awards

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday inaugurated the 21st Asia Pacific ICT Alliance (APICTA) Awards 2022 being held for the first time in Pakistan.

Speaking on the occasion, the premier said Pakistan has enormous untapped potential in the IT sector and invited foreign IT companies and experts to fully explore the talented youth bulge of the country.

The prime minister said that in the last decade or so Pakistani entrepreneurs have made great strides to promote the IT sector with individual and collective efforts. The government is also playing a proactive role to support these efforts.

He said the country’s total IT export hovered around $2.6 billion which does not fully reflect the immense talent. Pakistan has the huge strength to enhance this target, he observed.

He said they had concluded that a target of around $5 billion annually in IT export could be easily achieved, adding he had invited the IT experts and the youth to come forward and carve out a plan to achieve this target.

The prime minister said more than 19,000 ICT companies were currently registered in Pakistan, comprising domestic and export-oriented enterprises spread across 160 cities across Pakistan. Pakistan’s ICT industry was exporting state-of-the-art products and services to 169 countries and territories, he added.

A special meeting of the delegates was held at the Prime Minister’s House in this regard. The premier appreciated [email protected]’s vision and its support by the IT Minister Syed Amin Ul Haque for bringing APICTA to Pakistan.

“I have complete faith in the potential that Pakistan’s IT industry has and am waiting for the international world to realize the strengths that we as a country, have to offer,” the IT minister said on the occasion.

Chairman APICTA, Stan Singh-Jit, in his speech, said that he had voted for holding the event in Pakistan because the country had never hosted such an event and had great talented people in the IT sector.

Chairman [email protected], Zohaib Khan said the event provided an opportunity for the world to explore Pakistan’s growing IT potential, particularly for investment, partnership, and engagement with the local companies specializing in IT and IT-enabled services.

The event was organized by Pakistan Software Houses Association ([email protected]) and TechDestination for IT and ITES, in collaboration with the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication (MoITT).

The Judges and the participants are excited about the prospects and praised the APICTA Pakistan team, Badar Khushnood,(Convenor APICTA) Dr. Shoab A Khan (Chief Judge) and Hira Zainab (Project Director) most profusely for their efforts in this regard and wished them well for the upcoming event.

Recognized as the Oscars of the Asian IT industry, the 2022 edition of the APICTA Awards is taking place in Islamabad, from December 7-11 and will be attended by 15 economies of the region.

The inauguration ceremony was also attended by Minister for Planning Ahsan Iqbal, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb, officials, and a number of delegates, IT experts, and representatives of companies.