Muhammad Zohaib Khan, Chairman of the Pakistan Software Houses Association (P@SHA), explained that the Pakistani IT industry has forged partnerships with the 16 economies ICT alliance of the Asia-Pacific Information & Communication Technologies Alliance (APICTA) for the tangible promotion of IT & IT-enabled Services (ITeS) exports.
He said the stagnation in IT exports has created profound concerns & apprehensions in the IT industry as the IT & ITeS industry’s export remittances shrunk by 0.5 percent to $1.94 billion in Q1 – Q3 FY23 as opposed to 47 percent average growth IT & ITeS posted for 2 consecutive years, i.e. FY21 and FY22.
The top P@SHA executive was speaking on the occasion of the 79th Executive Committee meeting of APICTA in Perth, Australia, where he led the Pakistani delegation which also comprised Jamil Goheer & Dr. Shoab Khan, CEC members of P@SHA.
It is pertinent to note that the combined GDP of APICTA countries runs upwards of $30 trillion and these countries are potentially huge IT export markets for Pakistan in the Asia-Pacific region & other allied countries; like China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, Japan, etc.
“One can well imagine, if a region & its IT alliance has a combined GDP of $30 trillion, what it can mean to a developing country like Pakistan with a population of 230.1 million and 64 percent under the age of 35,” he said.
Khan pointed out that FBR, SBP, SECP, TDAP, and PSEB should work in tandem and P@SHA is all willing to assist them in aligning foreign exchange, taxation, companies’ regulations, export and investments policies with international best practices.
This year Pakistani IT exports are expected to be in the range of $2.5 – $2.6 billion; which can easily be jacked up to the psychological mark of $5 billion in a quick succession of 2 years – provided policies of the government institutions turn business-friendly and focus on ease of doing business (EODB) parameters – on which Pakistan ranks abysmally low at 108th number, he added.