PSEB setting new horizons to explore world IT market: Shahryar

PSEB is an apex body of the Ministry of Information Technology with the mandate to facilitate and promote Pakistan’s IT Industry in local and international markets.

PSEB has been facilitating IT industry through a series of projects and programmes in IT parks development, international marketing/delegations, international IT certifications, IT internships, IT trainings, as well as promotion of innovative and new technologies through incubators. PSEBs mandate is to ensure sustainable development of Pakistans Information Technology Industry, to bolster cooperation of Pakistans IT sector with international entities, and to attract foreign IT companies to invest in Pakistans IT sector. Governments incentives for IT exporters and foreign investors include 100 per cent equity ownership, 100 per cent repatriation of profits, and income tax exemption on exports till 2016 to facilitate the growth of the IT Industry.

More than thousand IT companies are registered with PSEB at present and this number is increasing every month. These companies possess demonstrated expertise base from product development to customized software development and from call centers to systems integration. Pakistans IT sector is one of the few segments in Pakistans economy which has demonstrated positive year on year growth and has earned foreign exchange of more than $2 billion over the last decade.

Pakistans IT industry comprises software development and IT-enabled services and employs more than 125,000 IT professionals and support staff. Pakistani companies have especially done well in emerging areas such as Mobile Applications Development (Apple iPhone and Google Android) as well as Mobile Gaming and animation. In 2004, there were only a handful of IT companies doing merely $1 million or more in annual exports, whereas today, there are more than 70 IT companies with exports of over $1 million and in certain cases exceeding US$30 million a year.

PSEBs contributions to the industry over the years include the following:

• Domestic Industry automation projects to kick start local demand in 2004

• 23 CMMi and 110 ISO international certifications for the IT industry

• Subsidies to IT companies for participation in international and domestic IT events

• IT delegations to different countries in North America, Europe, Middle East, and Asia

• 12 Software Technology Parks (STPs) at present with more being planned

• Provision of bandwidth with backup through PSEB data node operations

• Strategic reviews of Pakistans IT Industry and other important research reports

• Tax incentives for IT Industry

• 5400 fully paid internships for IT industry

• 2500 interns trained through IT training courses

The Government of Pakistan has been proactively developing the IT sector since 2000. A number of incentives offered including tax exemptions, establishment of IT Parks with low rent, foreign ownership of equity invested in IT and 100% repatriation of profit allowed to IT companies. With these incentives, huge market potentials and young manpower, an increasing number of foreign IT companies have chosen Pakistan for their outsourcing operations.

Our goal is to make Pakistan the second largest IT exporter in South Asia by 2016 and to increase cumulative IT exports of Pakistan since 2000 to $6 billion by 2020. To achieve this ambitious goal, we are seminars with the IT industry in major cities of Pakistan to get feedback and to ensure implementation of steps that would be of maximum benefit to the industry. Pakistan has a lot of IT talent and potential. However, we need to focus on emerging services and markets and project our IT expertise internationally to attract IT customers and investors. This is why, PSEB has re-launched itself this year with the slogan “Unleashing Pakistans IT potential globally.”

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