Noman Said, an acclaimed IT expert and entrepreneur of Pakistani origin, has emphasized that the information technology sector can address Pakistan’s trade deficit, stabilize the rupee-dollar exchange rate, generate a substantial number of jobs, and improve the country’s global image.
He remains optimistic, drawing insights from international markets, that Pakistan could secure export orders worth around $100 million from the upcoming 23rd Edition of ITCN Asia. Scheduled from August 30 to September 2 in Karachi, this event will witness the participation of numerous IT firms, especially Pakistani IT service exporters.
Said has outlined certain prerequisites that, if met, could create a level playing field for Pakistani IT enterprises competing against global and regional counterparts. These include:
1. Establishing an unequivocal ten-year tax exemption for the IT industry, regardless of future governmental changes.
2. Implementing a flexible foreign exchange framework for the IT sector, facilitating the utilization of foreign earnings, given its integration with the international financial system.
3. Ensuring collaborative and consistent policies across institutions like the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), and Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) to cultivate an environment conducive to IT industry growth.
4. Initiating nationwide skill development initiatives in crucial domains such as artificial intelligence (AI), game development, financial technology (FinTech), digital governance, blockchain, and app development.
Said also noted that the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) has identified IT as a focal point, emphasizing its potential to catalyze growth in various sectors through the transformative effects of automation, digitization, and machine learning.