24th ITCN Asia: Govt is encouraging investments in ICT, says Shaza Fatima Khawaja

Pakistan (Muhammad Yasir)

Shaza Fatima Khawja said the government is encouraging investment in
information and communication technologies (ICTs) through its multiple
flagship projects such as Special Technology Zones (STZs), the
national plan of fiberization across the country, and facilitation for
the affordability of fast broadband internet and smart digital devices
to the masses.

Speaking as the Chief Guest at the 24th edition of ITCN Asia,
“Declaring Pakistan as the Regional ICT Hub,” she said the government
intended to expand its efforts for local manufacturing of laptops
through policy to provide affordable access to digital devices to the
masses and its exports to different countries in the future.

The government is eager to provide an ecosystem to foreign and local
IT companies and investors through policymaking, legislation, skill
development, and infrastructure to tap into the host of opportunities
in Pakistan, she added. Additionally, the government is working
exclusively for inclusivity for the female population to enhance their
participation in the economy through opportunities in education and

State Minister said that the Special Investment Facilitation Council
(SIFC) has a crucial role in providing trust to stakeholders in the IT
industry, helping to improve hurdles and barriers, and achieving goals
to facilitate business and the growth of the IT industry.

She mentioned that the government formulated the National Digital
Commission to drive the digital ecosystem across the country in three
verticals, including economy, governance, and society, which will also
provide unimaginable opportunities for the private sector.

I am looking forward to IT companies enhancing their contribution to
the global footprint with the support of the government to make
Pakistan a regional and global tech hub, she remarked.

State Minister praised the role of ITCN Asia for providing a
resourceful platform to the public sector institutions, local and
multinational IT companies, foreign investors and delegates to shape
up the direction of IT and telecom sector for the past 24 years

Pakistan has become a member of the Digital Corporation Organization
(DCO), aiming to be a leading partner in the global IT ecosystem
through its high-end services and products.

Deemah Al Yahya, Secretary General of the of the Digital Cooperation
Organization (DCO), said Pakistan has been proactively at the
forefront of harnessing digital transformation to strengthen its
digital economy, which is projected to add $5.9 billion by 2030 to its

She lauded Pakistan’s initiatives in the digital FDI alliance and its
efforts to set up a conducive environment, infrastructure, and skilled
development of human capital for investors and tech giants.

Pakistan has a crucial role in its region as well as the western
region when it comes to software export as well as the right framework
for collaboration and digital transformation, she said and added.
Pakistan is positioning itself as a magnet for global capital as it is
one of the leading countries for freelancers to thrive in the in the
global gig economy.

Secretary DCO urged Pakistani stakeholders for mutual efforts to
achieve a digital realm that serves humanity worldwide under the
platform of the DCO that connects governments, civil societies, and
academia to gain economic dividends.

Additional Secretary IT and Acting CEO Pakistan Software Export Board
(PSEB), Ayesha Humera Morani, said Pakistan is a lucrative destination
for local and foreign IT companies with its talented human resources,
strategic location, and investor-friendly policy.

The Pakistani IT sector has the potential to serve east and west, as
its workforce could work in double shifts. 24/7. The country could
provide a digital corridor that could connect the Middle East to
Europe and Africa, she said and added. Our country provides
opportunities to multinational companies to save 70% of operational
costs annually.

Chairman PASHA Muhammad Zohaib, Country Education Lead Microsoft
Jibran Jamshed, Adeel Aijaz Sheikh, CEO Ignite, Chairman Netsol Salim
Ghori, Secretary General Islamic Chamber of Commerce Industries and
Agriculture Yousef Hasan Khalawi, and Vice President Ecommerce Gateway
Muhammad Umair Nizam also spoke on the occasion.