Pakistan’s IT sector is booming and the evidence of its progress lies in the 98% growth in the exports of the IT sector during the last four years, according to State Minister of Information, Technology, and Telecom Anusha Rehman.
Anusha Rehman was leading the board meeting of Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB) in which different initiatives taken by the IT sector along with the implementation of Prime Minister’s Internship Program and Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) were discussed.
Anusha Rehman said that the growth in the exports of IT sector was due to foreign exchange earnings and job creations over the last four years. The IT sector has also benefitted from the freelance work being done by a huge number of Pakistani individuals to make extra money, Rehman added.
Pakistan has now taken the fourth spot on the largest freelancing website of the world. During the FY 2016-17, Pakistan’s IT exports crossed $2.8 billion mark with domestic revenue of about $500 million.
Rehman said that the government is taking measures to help freelancers in the country by providing them with proper digital skills and training. A comprehensive training program will be conducted by the government to polish the skills of freelancers and also provide them with new skills in the process. Rehman said that Pakistan has produced more than 1 million freelancers over the past 5 years.
The State Minister also approved a new initiative called “DigiSkills” through which the government is targeting to train and teach more than 1 million youth to enhance and learn new skills and get to know the technology, work ethic, and innovation. More than 20,000 IT graduates are produced from all over the country and should have a strong understanding of new technologies in order to keep growing in the field of freelancing and entrepreneurship, Rehman highlighted.
Talking about the Prime Minister’s Internship program, Rehman said that PSEB in collaboration with the National ICT R&D Fund (IGNITE) recruited more than 1,700 interns from the IT sector this year. All the interns were placed in order to get work experience in the IT sector. Out of the 1,700 interns placed, more than 60% of the students were offered jobs once their internship tenure was over.
Under the CMMI initiative, 28 IT companies and 30 IT professionals were given certificates. These individuals and companies were selected by the PSEB. Apart from this, 134 companies also got ISO certifications which helped in boosting exports of the IT sector to the developed markets.
PSEB itself has worked a lot over the last four years as it exhibited its work in 11 international trade fairs that helped in increasing the freelance work of the country as Pakistan became a safe option for outsourcing. Pakistan’s exports to the countries increased significantly in which the trade exhibitions were held.