IT & ITes Exports to Cross $3 Billion Shabbir Mansha

Karachi, June 17, 2022: Mr. Shabbir Mansha, Acting President FPCCI, has expressed his longstanding concern that despite having a young, energetic and driven population of 65 percent, Pakistan has not yet even partially capitalized on its potential in the various tech industries in general and IT & IT-enabled Services (ITeS) in particular. However, he maintained, Pakistan is all poised to cross the psychological barrier of $3 billion in IT exports in the outgoing fiscal year 2021 – 22.

Mr. Shabbir Mansha stated that from the feedback of the business, industry and trade community of Pakistan, we can say that Pakistan has a shortage of up to 500,000 IT professionals; as our IT exports and domestic digital transformation efforts have kicked in on a large-scale. Nonetheless, the IT & computer science graduates from Pakistani universities are not readily employable for their lack for practical training in the universities and they invariably need internationally-accepted professional certifications before they can be meaningfully employed.

Acting FPCCI Chief has also welcomed Special Technology Zones Authority (STZA) initiatives in facilitating the establishment of tech companies and pinned his hopes that STZA will soon announce the establishment of a technology zone for Karachi soon.

Mr. Amer Hashmi, Chairman STZA, apprised the business community that the institution is working on a Triple Helix Model of Industry-Government-Academia to take a holistic and time-proven approach from the success stories of technology parks from the world over.

Mr. Javaid Iqbal, Chief Commercial Officer of STZA, briefed that the required legal cover in the form of an act of parliament has been provided to STZA and it has already launched technology zones in Lahore, Islamabad and Haripur (KPK). Subsequently, STZA will launch technology zones in Sindh, Balochistan, Azad Jammu & Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan.

Mr. Khalid Amin, President Indus University, said that STZA & PSEB must establish close liaison with the universities to enable them design and offer IT & computer science programs in accordance with the current demands of the IT & ITeS companies in Pakistan and aboard. Mr. Shabbir Mansha added that Pakistan should aim for $10 – 15 worth of IT & ITeS exports over the period of next 4 -5 years and this is very much doable. He mentioned that even the most advanced IT industries of the world like U.S. and Europe still have HR shortages for the technologies of the future.

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