(TOKYO, APRIL 30, 2021): Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has called Pakistan “the next ICT powerhouse” in a handout that was released recently. Digital Pakistan Policy (2018) that offers multiple incentives to IT sector is one of the key driving factors in this trend, the report highlights.
According to the handout, Pakistan’s ICT exports have increased six-times in the past 10 years, achieving fastest growth in South Asia. Pakistan is a popular international outsourcing destination for its price competitiveness and presence of a large number of active freelancers, the report adds.
Based on a yearlong study by JICA in collaboration with Pakistan Embassy Tokyo, the publication places Pakistan as a new partner for Japanese IT companies. The report gives an overview of ICT industry in Pakistan; its performance in IT exports; the support structure provided by Pakistani government; a valuable pool of skilled and young human resource; and, achievement of a growth lead ecosystem equally owned by public and private sectors.
This study includes an “IT Skills Survey 2021” which found that Pakistani ICT engineers are highly skilled in programming, software development, data processing & analysis, infrastructure architecture and cloud engineering. The report also includes feedback on Pakistani ICT engineers already working in Japan who consider Pakistan an untapped market for Japanese IT companies, encouraging them to know more about Pakistan and its collective potential in ICT.
Ambassador Mr. Imtiaz Ahmad welcomed the project team in March 2020, offering them complete support of the Mission while thanking JICA for its continued support in export and development sectors in Pakistan. In the past the same team of experts from JICA has rolled out various projects for human resource development; value addition in textiles; technical training; and, water and sanitation infrastructure in Pakistan
Due to travel limitations posed by Covid-19 pandemic, Trade & Investment Counsellor Tahir Habib Cheema played a key role in connecting JICA experts with ICT industry in Pakistan. Through multiple online meetings in Pakistan and a close coordination locally in Japan, Mr. Cheema was able to keep Pakistani Mission in Tokyo as the single and most resourceful access point for the researchers and rest of the stakeholders to engage and contribute.
The Mission welcomes JICA report which acknowledges Pakistan’s efforts to promote creative ICT utilization, entrepreneurship and innovation with the support of private players providing access to financing, export promotion and support for start-ups. Establishment of National Incubation Centers in five major cities and joint efforts of government, industry and academia are successfully accelerating growth of ICT industry in Pakistan.
It is expected that with the recent increase in export of Pakistani goods to Japan, such efforts will play an effective role in increasing IT exports and help increase employment opportunities for Pakistani IT engineers and skilled workforce.
Tokyo, PR# 15/2021