ISLAMABAD: Chairman and CEO Axact and BOL Media Group Shoaib Ahmed Shaikh has said that Pakistan’s Information Technology (IT) sector can contribute 50 billion dollar in the target of the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) in three years if the right policies and approaches are adopted.
He added that the target of the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) is possible if the Government of Pakistan and its institutions follow right directions and strategies.
He expressed these views while giving an exclusive interview to Bol News in Islamabad on Thursday, especially regarding the establishment of “The Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC)” by the Government of Pakistan.
He appreciated the government’s Initiative to revive the economy of the country and said that it rightly selected four sectors – defense production, agriculture, mines and minerals, energy, and the IT industry – to improve the weakening economy.
He further said that IT could play very vital role in recuperating economic condition of the country as IT is very different from the rest three sectors.
Mr. Shaikh recalled that such policies and programmes were also launched by the previous governments but the required results could not have been achieved as conducive environment was not provided to international investors.
He explained that foreign companies or investors come to a country to make profit by selling their products, but they don’t find a big economy here, so they choose not to invest. Secondly, if they find cheap human resources, they prefer to manufacture their products and export them abroad to earn revenue.
He further elaborated that such an environment is lacking in the country due to taxation and other issues, which is why foreign investors are reluctant to invest here.
He urged the government to first facilitate and give incentives to local entrepreneurs to boost the IT sector, and then international investors will consider investing in Pakistan.
He maintained that short, medium and long term policies must be undertaken to achieve the targets of the SIFC.
It is pertinent to mention here that the Government of Pakistan with the cooperation and support of Chief of Army Staff General Syed Asim Munir has established the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) to specifically address these issues.
The SIFC will prioritize defense production, agriculture, mines and minerals, energy, and the IT industry, with the ambitious target of attracting $100 billion in FDI within three years.
The first tier is the Apex Committee-SIFC, which includes the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Federal Ministers, Chief of the Army Staff (by special invitation), all Provincial Chief Ministers, the National Coordinator (Pakistan Army), and a Special Assistant to the Prime Minister as the Secretary to the Apex Committee.
Investment facilitation is a set of policies and actions that seek to make it easier for investors to establish and expand their operations, as well as to conduct their day-to-day business in host countries.