Govt focusing on promoting IT entrepreneurship

ISLAMABAD: The government is taking inclusive steps to create a business-friendly environment to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) and promote the culture of entrepreneurship in the country

The information technology ministry provides a favorable environment for all stakeholders in the startup ecosystem to promote startup culture and attract foreign direct investment, an IT ministry official said.

Last year not only the production of important crops but also the export of IT and IT-supported services increased significantly. Pakistan’s IT sector contributes about 1 percent to gross domestic product, equivalent to about US$3.5 billion.

Speaking about the ministry’s performance and achievements, he said that investments in Pakistani startups have skyrocketed, and Pakistani startups have raised about US$373 million, which is about five times the investment of US$75 million dollars in the past year.

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Through the DG Skills programs, 2 million youth are being trained in various high-tech courses related to online freelancing. Phase two has now begun. According to a State Bank report, he said freelance exports have reached $396 million, up 85 percent.

Under the National Incubation Programs, 111,000 jobs have been created and memoranda of investment totaling Rs. 9.46 billion have been signed, while revenues of Rs. 4.47 billion have been generated. Over 2,000 job opportunities have been created under the Tech Innovation Grants while generating investments worth around Rs 700 million and revenues of Rs 350 million.

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“We surpassed a $2.6 billion mark for IT and ITeS by June 30, 2022,” he said, adding that 30 Software Technology Parks (STPs) in different districts under public-private partnerships in the all over the country and 10 more will follow.

All related procedures for the establishment of state-of-the-art IT parks in Karachi and Islamabad at a total cost of 40 billion rupees have been completed, the official said. IT education is carried out at the level of all universities in the country.

The volume of foreign direct investment in the telecom industry from July 1, 2018 to March 30, 2022 was US$6.10 billion, and Rs.163.3 billion to be deposited as taxes in the Treasury. The total volume of the telecom industry has reached US$16.90 billion.

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Due to reforms in the telecom sector and various government policies, the number of active mobile SIMs in the country has reached 195 million by March 2022. The number of mobile and fixed broadband subscribers in the country has reached 119 million by June 2022 and the number of users using 3G and 4G has reached 116 million, he added.

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