ISLAMABAD:Digital transformation can help Pakistan unlock up to Rs 9.7 trillion (59.7 billion US dollars ) in annual economic value by 2030, equivalent to about 19% of the country’s GDP in 2020, according to a new report commissioned by Google.
The report — released at a recent Google / P@SHA online event, “Unlocking Pakistan’s Digital Potential” – finds that Pakistan has a thriving technology sector.
The country is home to more than 300,000 IT professionals, produces over 25,000 IT graduates annually, and has nurtured over 700 tech start-ups since 2010.
Technology exports have grown 15% per year since 2020 and are expected to reach US dollars 3.5 billion in 2022. Pakistan’s online population has grown rapidly and the internet penetration rate is reaching 54% in 2021.
Despite these many achievements, Pakistan can go further in its digital transformation journey. The report, prepared by economists at AlphaBeta, identifies three main pillars of action Pakistan could take to reach the projected growth opportunity.
This included developing infrastructure to support the local tech ecosystem, continuing to create a conducive environment for IT export, and promoting innovation and digital skills in the country.
Eight key technologies hold transformative potential for businesses and workers and can create significant economic value for Pakistan. These include the mobile internet; cloud computing; big data; AI; fintech; IoT and remote sensing; advanced robotics; and additive manufacturing.
Farhan Qureshi, Regional Director, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, Google, believed that despite the setbacks caused by the pandemic, the future for Pakistan’s digital economy is bright.
“Digital transformation is vital for Pakistan to address the long-term implications of the COVID-19 pandemic and build long-term resilience and growth. At Google, we aim to play our part by equipping Pakistanis with helpful products and tools, tech know-how, and online safety skills. Going forward, we will continue working with partners like P@SHA and the various government agencies to help fulfill the Digital Pakistan Vision” said the Country Director.
Chairman Pakistan Software Houses Association (P@SHA) for IT & IT-enabled Services (ITeS) Badar Khushnood also shared, “P@SHA represents thousands of technology companies and has been at the forefront of the #DigitalPakistan revolution.
He said that, P@SHA continues to work closely with relevant public and private sector stakeholders to not only accelerate growth in software and services exports but also fast-track digital transformation in domestic sectors of the economy as well. Google and P@SHA’s relationship continues to grow and we look forward to further strengthening this win-win synergy for Pakistan’s brighter and more vibrant digital ecosystem.”