Lahore, January 19, 2015 (PPI-OT): Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB), an industry promotion body under Ministry of IT, conducted its second successful seminar with a large number of C-level executives from the IT industry at Avari Hotel, Lahore last week. The event started with a welcome address by PSEB’s Director Marketing, Mr. Salman Hassan.
Then PSEB’s new Managing Director, Mr. Asim Shahryar Husain, gave a comprehensive presentation on PSEB’s contribution to the IT industry over the last decade as well as PSEB’s plans for the future. He mentioned that PSEB has supported the IT industry through different programs including company registration, Software Technology Parks (STPs), ISO and CMMI certifications, international marketing through events and delegations, IT internships, IT trainings, visa facilitation, and many other programs.
Over the last decade, PSEB has spent more than Rs. 450 million on these industry support programs. He emphasized that IT exporters should use state bank’s assigned codes for IT exports when reporting foreign remittances received. Otherwise, those remittances will not be recorded under IT exports.
He also mentioned that PSEB is planning new programs for the IT industry in future including a new technology park on PSEB’s land in Islamabad, a new documentary on the IT industry, a new industry portal, CMMi trainings for certification, participation in IT exhibitions and delegations, IT internships, and IT training courses.
He hoped that these new initiatives and better exports reporting will increase IT exports substantially in 2015. He further stated that industry’s goal should be to become the second largest IT exporter in South Asia based on remittances before the end of this year. This was followed by an interactive discussion with CEOs of different IT companies which was moderated by Director Domestic, Mr. Ali Hasani.
IT industry representatives suggested that while there was a definite need to explore new emerging markets, emphasis should remain on further developing existing markets abroad. It was also requested that PSEB should help in building a positive image of Pakistan’s IT industry abroad through marketing activities such as documentary, portal, events and delegations.
PSEB should also provide a one-window operation to facilitate foreign investors and local companies. IT companies mentioned shortage of exportable IT resources and that IT industry needs more quality graduates from universities with a strong foundation in programming concepts and methodologies. Hands-on training in different IT tools can be provided by companies themselves.
Availability of subsidized office space and streamlining availability of voice over IP (VoIP) for software companies would also be helpful. Some CEOs also mentioned that the sales tax of 19.5% on IT services which has been imposed by provinces of Punjab, Sindh, and KPK since 2013 has stunted the growth of the IT industry because these taxes eat up the margins of most IT companies. Hence, these three provinces should abolish this new tax in 2015’s budget.
MD PSEB assured the industry that PSEB would share their feedback with Ministry of IT and FBR. The industry appreciated the MD’s plan and assured their full support to PSEB for increasing Pakistan’s IT exports to $5 billion in a couple of years. PSEB will conduct a similar industry seminar in Islamabad in February.
For more information, contact:
Director International Marketing
Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB)
2nd Floor, Evacuee Trust Complex, F-5,