Friday May 24, 2024

Pakistan's IT sector secures $500 million in investment pledges at tech expo

By Our Correspondent
April 21, 2024
Speakers express their views during the AI Summit at the exhibition held in relation to the 24th edition of ITCN Asia on April 20, 2024. — Supplied
Speakers express their views during the AI Summit at the exhibition held in relation to the 24th edition of ITCN Asia on April 20, 2024. — Supplied

LAHORE: The 24th edition of ITCN Asia has generated over $500 million in business and investment deals for the local and international IT, telecom, and allied sectors, organisers said.

The three-day event, which concluded on Friday, brought together over 600 companies and hosted various thought-provoking and networking sessions, including the AI Summit and Global Digital Summit.

According to vice president and event director Ecommerce Gateway Pakistan Muhammad Umair Nizam, the event paved the way for accelerated growth in the technological ecosystem of the country, particularly in the IT sector.

"The biggest tech show will achieve various goals for the IT and telecom sectors soon, including investment inflows in Pakistan, growth in export receipts, strengthening of startup culture, the emergence of AI in the country," Nizam said.

ITCN Asia offers a comprehensive platform for showcasing solutions in key sectors such as but not limited to government, cloud, data center, cybersecurity, ERP, education, banking & finance, health and pharma, e-commerce, artificial intelligence (AI), etc. The event focuses on networking, knowledge sharing, and lead generation, with conferences facilitating a learning environment for tech enthusiasts.

The main sessions at tech event include the Artificial Intelligence Summit, Global Security Symposium, Gaming and Scholars Roundtable, Investor Summit, Freelancer Summit, Made in Pakistan Roundtable Conference.

State Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication Shaza Fatima Khawaja said the objective of the event was to highlight the expertise and products of Pakistan’s IT sector at the international level.

“Sixty eight percent of Pakistan’s population consists of young people and IT is a field that has a lot of opportunities available for them,” she told Radio Pakistan broadcaster. “The government’s vision is to bring as much skill training as possible for the youth in the IT sector.”

Khawaja said the government would provide cheap loans to the IT sector so that freelancers could thrive.

“The government has started the Industry Academia Bridge Program under which IT students in universities can collaborate with the private sector to get practical training while studying and secure their jobs,” she added.

Speaking on the opening day of the event at Lahore’s Expo Center on Friday, Khawaja said it was an honor for Pakistan to be a founding partner of the Digital Cooperation Organization, a global multilateral body launched in November 2020 to help enable digital prosperity for all, and a testimony to the country’s readiness to be one of the leading stakeholders in the global IT ecosystem.

“Pakistan’s digital progress and its position as a global stakeholder is underscored by its vibrant youth as Pakistan produces 10,000 IT graduates every year,” she said.

“Together we will make Pakistan an IT hub as IT is the key toward growth of all sectors.”

A delegation of international investors belonging to 12 different countries is participating in the event that is expected to attract around $500 million investment, according to Pakistani state media.

Renowned international and national technology companies, including Microsoft, Inbox, Red Hat, TP-Link, Lenovo, HP, NetSol, Abacus and Dell, are participating in the three-day exhibition.The event is being jointly supported by the Pakistani Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC), Pakistan Software Export Board and Pakistan Software Houses Association.