Engineering Post Report
Information Technology (IT) plays a dynamic role in the evolving knowledge economy by establishing itself as a powerful instrument for fostering economic development. It enables innovations in different sectors of the economy, such as manufacturing, agriculture, services, education, health and the government, increasing productivity, efficiency, and competitiveness and hence economic growth. The sector has great potential to create employment opportunities, enhance human capital, improve governance, facilitate social inclusion, attract investment, and make markets and institutions more efficient . IT can also enhance social welfare and environmental sustainability by easy access to information relating to education, healthcare, and public services as well as reducing e energy consumption and carbon emissions.
The federal government duly recognizes the growth of IT and telecommunication industry as a vital lever for the mid-to-long-term progress of the country. As such, the federal government was working on “Digital Pakistan Vision” to enhance the digital economy footprint, in order to spur economic prosperity and public empowerment. As such, the government was also striving for improving the quality of life, economic, and social well-being of the people by making IT services more accessible , affordable, nd universal. The government was also strengthening its digital economy which it views as an enabler of both social inclusion and economic growth.
As such the federal government has developed a comprehensive strategy that focuses on capacity building of public and private sector entities, besides providing an appropriate infrastructure and platforms in the field of IT. The key pillars of the strategy to achieve the vision included E-Governance, IT Infrastructure, Human Capital Development , Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Development and Export of IT and IT Enabled Services (ITeS),Fintech, E-Commerce and Digital Platforms, Privacy and security, Partnership and Collaboration.
The Kearney’s Global Services Location Index (2021) ranked Pakistan as the second most financially attractive location in the world for offshore outsourcing I and ITeS.. Likewise, the International Labour Organization (ILO) Flagship Report (2021) has also ranked Pakistan as the second largest supplier of digital labour services, such as clerical and data entry services, creative and multimedia services, professional services, sales and marketing support services, software development and technology services and writing and translation services.
According to the available information, in software development and technology services, more than 19000 IT and ITeS companies were registered with Securities and Exchange Commission Pakistan (SECP) comprising of both domestic and export -oriented enterprises across the country.
There were 5109 IT and ITeS companies registered with Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB) as on March 2023 representing the exporters.
Major Technology hubs of IT and ITeS industry are Lahore (36.4 percent), Karachi (28 percent), and Islamabad/ Rawalpindi (27 percent) of PSE B registered companies. The remaining 10 percent of registered companies were spread all over the country. The relevant stakeholders were putting on maxim efforts to increase the number of companies by increasing the number of Software Technology Parks and enabling IT and ITeS industry to capitalize the countrywide talent.
The IT sector was providing a broad set of products and services to the world’s largest companies. Pakistan’s IT industry counts in the world’s largest entities among its regular clients. Several international companies including global enterprises like Bentley(R), IBM (R), Siemens ( R ), S&P Global (R), Symantec (R), Teradata (R)and VMware (R) have established global consulting services centres, research and development centres, and Process Process Outsourcing Support Services in Pakistan. Thus, generating high paying employment opportunities for the talented and attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
IT industry comprises of the youngest workforce with the highest proportion of women as company founders and startup owners. Women as such are working at technical, managerial, and executive level positions. There have been several star tup success stories such as Bykea, Careem, and Daraz. IGNITE has established National Incubation Centres (NICs) across major cities in Pakistan. In 2021, these centres supported 60 startups, generating US $ 373 million in capital, and reaching a valuation of US $ 2.1 billion. In 2022, 40 startups raised US $ 343 million in capital, reaching a valuation of $ 3.5 billion.
There is lot more information about Information Technology and Telecommunication sector working, performance and achievements which will be presented on these pages from time to time later on, please.