According to study by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry for Overseas Investors (OICCI), Pakistan has the capacity to raise its IT exports from the current $2 billion to $10 billion.
The “OICCI Digital Economy Recommendations” report emphasized the much-needed change needed to capture, through a new mentality, the prospect of digital transformation within and outside Pakistan.
It highlighted the FDI potential by creating an enabling environment for investment in the platform and hi-tech ecosystem, in order to enable Pakistan to attract global IT platform players and venture capital funds to accelerate innovation.
IT exports could increase to $10 billion annually, deliver significant gross domestic product (GDP) growth, attract billions of dollars in foreign direct investment (FDI) and create new jobs in a short period of time by digitizing most, if not all, main segments of the economy, the report added.
The Philippines, with half the population of Pakistan, exports IT services worth about $30 billion, India more than $190 billion, and many other Asian countries are also well ahead of Pakistan, while IT exports from Pakistan are only worth $1-2 billion, said OICCI President Haroon Rashid, highlighting the potential for IT exports.
Communication, the digital financial system, export growth and digital skills, the network of platforms and e-commerce, innovation and regulatory environment and digital governance and citizen services are the six key areas covered by the OICCI digital guidelines.
The OICCI stressed the need for constant and systematized efforts to enhance Pakistan’s global image as a striking destination for foreign direct investment (FDI), particularly for major international technology players, with a highly improved climate of security, duly recognized by independent sources, and attractive hard currency operating costs, following the massive depreciation of the rupee.