The 1st meeting of Executive Council Forum to boost Pakistan’s IT and ITES Exports was held on 8th June 2017 in Ministry of Information Technology. The meeting was Chaired by the Minister of State for IT, Ms. Anusha Rehman Khan. The meeting was attended by Secretary IT & Telecom, MoIT Officers, CEOs of Top 5 IT exporters, Financial/ Banking Sector Organizations, BPO/Call Centers, IT Consulting, Mobile applications, IT Industry enthusiasts and Multi-National Companies, State Bank of Pakistan, SECP, Academia, Telco’s representatives and CEOs of National ICT R&D Fund and USF Co.

The Minister welcomed all the participants of the meeting and explained that multi-stakeholder High-Level Executive Council Forum (ECF) has been constituted to work on how to increase IT & ITES exports as part of the government economic growth agenda.

The Minister stated that the Private Sector will play an important role in the consultative process to formulate a comprehensive short and long term Strategy, Action Plan, and recommendations to facilitate & coordinate the growth in IT & ITES exports of Pakistan.

She also told the meeting that the Government of Pakistan has unveiled a progressive Budget 2017-18 especially for the Information Technology sector of the country. One of the highlights of the federal budget is the revelation that the new tech companies will be exempted from Income Tax for the next three years in Pakistan. She further added that there is zero income tax on IT exports till June 2019 to boost local IT industry.

She added that this Ministry is progressively working on the establishment of the state of the art IT Park in Islamabad, as Pilot Project, in collaboration with Korean Exim Bank for the provision of an appropriate environment for the IT Companies.

The Minister of State for IT highlighted that this Ministry is in the process of initiating National level digital skills training program for freelancers through which one million individuals will be trained in next five years. In this regard, she asked IT industry to provide their valuable input to National ICT R&D Fund Co. / Ignite for the provision of requisite Digital skills training program for freelancers across the country.

In the meeting, a detailed discussion was held and the participants of the meeting have provided innovative suggestions to boost IT & ITES Exports, mitigate gaps between Academia and IT Industry, HR Development and proliferation of e-commerce through the development of local e-commerce platform.

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