WB to hold conference for fast digitalisation in Pakistan

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SOURCEThe Express Tribune
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KARACHI:  Pakistan-based IT firms are serving the world’s leading aeronautical and space research organisation, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa), and international governments to protect them from cyber threat, revealed Pakistan Software Houses Association (P@SHA) Chairman Syed Ahmed.

Speaking at the 17th e-banking conference on Thursday, Ahmed said it was unfortunate that local financial institutions, the government and security agencies were spending billions of dollars on importing IT infrastructure and software to shield themselves from cyber attacks.

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“Time has come when the government, security agencies and financial institutions trust Pakistan-based IT firms,” he said. “They possess world-class expertise and are fairly capable of assisting in the fight against cyber threat and delivering other technology-driven solutions.”

He pointed out that the government was striving to increase exports, reduce imports and create import substitutes in order to bring balance between foreign earnings and income with the objective of narrowing down the current account deficit.

“Local IT firms can fulfill this need as they can help reduce software imports worth billions of dollars, in addition to that they have the potential to export IT infrastructure and software worth around $10 billion per year,” Ahmed said.

At present, Pakistan exports IT and software worth billions of dollars per year.

Speaking on the occasion, World Bank Adviser for Digital Transformation and former Board of Investment chairman Naeem Zamindar said the World Bank had planned to hold a conference of 20 key stakeholders next month in Pakistan to figure out how to transform the country into a digital world.

“The World Bank aims to prepare a road map for fast digitalisation of Pakistan at the conference,” he said. “The bank wants the government to create an enabling environment for the private sector as digitalisation helps in the documentation and promotion of economies all over the world.”

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The bank had also assisted in the collection of higher revenue which remained the largest and most immediate challenge for Pakistan, he said, adding “Pakistan’s future lies in a technology-led revolution.”

Published in The Express Tribune, September 20th, 2019.

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