Premier vows to boost IT exports to $25b

F.P. Report
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday said that Pakistan was required to boost its IT exports to $25 billion and investment to $20 billion within a span of two to three years, as the government had already devised a mechanism to ensure one-window operations to facilitate the investors.
“This is something doable. This is difficult but not impossible. We have to achieve this target under all circumstances through your support and expertise,” the prime minister said addressing an information technology (IT) seminar and launching ceremony of multiple IT-related projects. He told the gathering of diplomats, IT experts, investors, entrepreneurs, professors and students that the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) would sit with them to discuss issues and find out solutions, and move forward like a corporate culture.
He said Pakistan was rich with immense youth potential having modern skills, particularly IT, but the export figure hovering around $2.5 billion did not justify it – owing to lack of support and archaic procedures. Citing the example of a neighbouring country that had excelled in the IT field and its exports, the prime minister said Pakistan was also positioned to claim its space. Calling the investors his “masters”, he said the government would extend all-out facilities to them through the SIFC as he himself chaired the Apex Committee meeting and Chief of the Army Staff General Asim Munir was also playing his full role.
He said the SIFC would focus on boosting investment in agriculture, IT, mining and defence production. “This is seriously a one-window operation with the whole of government sitting there and extending facilities to potential investors without any delay. No delay will be tolerated at any cost,” he assured. The prime minister said that the Gulf states were willing to invest in Pakistan and the country would also benefit from their investment to generate revenue and enhance exports.
He urged all the stakeholders to march with unity and do everything in their capacity to change history as “we have expertise and energy to do the wonder”. He said the government would act as a partner and catalyst to provide all kinds of support to the investors. Mentioning the “wastage of energies” during the last four years of the previous government, the prime minister urged to move forward to change the landscape of history.
Shehbaz thankful to Allah over acquittal in ‘false’ money laundering case: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday said that he was thankful to Allah Almighty as the Accountability Court of Lahore acquitted him and his son Hamza Shehbaz in a “false and baseless” case of money laundering based on political revenge.
He said that that was the same case in which the National Crime Agency of Britain with a global reputation, searched the 40-year record, collected from three countries, for two years and gave him clean chit after finding nothing. The prime minister recalled that a news item was deliberately published in UK’s Daily Mail about the alleged embezzlement of DFID funds, but even in that, Allah vindicated him and the publication had to apologize.
“This was the same case in which I was wrongfully arrested twice, Hamza Shahbaz was kept in prison and Hamza was not even taken to a doctor despite being seriously ill during the Corona pandemic. He was not even allowed to meet his minor daughter,” Prime Minister Shehbaz recounted in a Tweet. He questioned whether there could be any compensation for the “Whatsapp accountability”, the “worst” media trial, and imprisonment despite being innocent. He said those who were indulged in political revenge had received an answer in the world, but they would have to give an account of that cruelty on the day of judgment. The prime minister also thanked his benefactors, friends, lawyers and public for supporting him and his son, believing in their innocence and encouraging them everywhere in that period of victimisation.