The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecom (MOITT) has projected the software and telecom exports to be $6 billion by 2020 in the National IT Policy Draft 2016.
MOITT has completed the consultation process about the draft and published it on the website for views, comments and feedback. The draft policy is expected to be submitted to Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) next month for approval.
According to SBP, IT sector earned $560 million in FY 2015-16 while analysts estimate the real figure to be $2 billion. The annual revenues from freelancing and the domestic markets are $90-100 and $300 million respectively. The mobile companies represent a huge market with total imports of Rs. 73.224 billion for the FY 14-15.
Pakistan has the 4th largest base of freelance IT Professionals as the rankings of world’s most reputed freelance markets show. MOITT established Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB) to ensure sustainable growth of Pakistan IT industry. Pakistan has more than 2000 software houses and 14 Software Technology parks. Pakistan’s IT exports have grown by more than 11 times over the last decade, growing to about 30 to 40 percent every year.
The key imperatives of IT policy are sectoral digitization, cross-sector collaboration, IT sector sustainability, entrepreneurship and innovation, infrastructure development, cloud computing and big data, cyber security and ICT education. The vision of policy is,
“To become a strategic enabler, by making the full use of ICT, for an accelerated digitization ecosystem, aiming to expand knowledge-based economy and drive socio-economic growth”
Goals of IT Policy
To double the IT exports by 2020.
To set-up at least one software technology park in each major city of Pakistan by 2020.
Triple the 2015 value of e-commerce by 2020.
The IT policy will concentrate on the areas like legislative framework, human resource development, e-Governance, e-Agriculture, e-Education, e-Energy and e-Commerce and innovative infrastructure development. Also, it will focus on emerging trends like mobile apps, Internet of Things (IoT), focus on moving up in global IT chain, encourage local and foreign businesses to invest in the software industry, cyber security and providing ICT education in all institutes of Pakistan.
IT sector is one of the most dynamic and crucial sectors and so all necessary measures will be taken to formulate a feasible ‘Action Plan’ and then take steps to implement it countrywide.