Federal Minister for IT & Telecom inaugurates ITCN Asia 2019

Lahore (Muhammad Yasir) Federal Minister of Information Technology and Telecommunication, Dr. Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui today officially inaugurated the 19th edition of Pakistan’s largest annual I.T. and Communications Exhibition, ITCN Asia at the Expo Centre, Karachi. The exhibition is spread over 6 halls of the Expo Centre, with over 550 local and 250 international companies representing more than 15 countries participating in it. Over 60,000 visitors are expected to come to the Exhibition over its 3 days. Concurrently with the Exhibition, the event also features conferences on key topics like AI Summit, IT Minister’s Forum for Youth, Innovation, Industry & Ease of Doing Business, and Cyber Security.     

After the inaugurating the exhibition, the Federal Minister visited various stalls and also participated in the IT Minister’s Forum for Youth, Innovation, Industry & Ease of Doing Business. This Forum at ITCN Asia 2019 will be the platform that Pakistan’s talented youth required to showcase their skills and for industry players ranging from start-ups to established global companies to network, discuss innovations and conclude business deals and partnerships. The government is taking several steps to facilitate the business community and is also introducing reforms to increase country’s exports and bring it at par with neighboring countries.

Speaking about the event, Mr. Umair Nizam, Vice President & Director of Ecommerce Gateway Pakistan, stated: ‘There is substantial potential for Pakistan to exponentially develop the IT sector and even make it the biggest foreign exchange earner for Pakistan in coming years, besides creating employment for a million or more people, even within the next 3 years. Since the last 70 years, Pakistan’s IT sector’s strategy has been vertical pillar growth, working with 100 companies. The global model is the ‘Horizontal Pyramid Growth Strategy’; create 80% of the base with domestic commerce. The remaining 20% at the top of the pyramid is international commerce. Domestic commerce can open up several opportunities within Pakistan connecting SMEs from Farm to Market and Village to Big City. And creation of international e-commerce platforms connects SMEs of Pakistan to the world.

A large number of breakout sessions and B2B meetings are also being held on the sidelines of this event. Further, on September 19, the last day of the event, Ecommerce Gateway will also be launching its innovative new B2B portal, ecombri.com, which is a unique buyer and seller platform of the Belt Road Initiative (BRI) countries. This will be a huge opportunity for opening up of several new opportunities for Pakistan, including increase in exports of non-IT products and services which have immense demand abroad, and leveraging of the BRI through joint ventures between Pakistan and Chinese SMEs to capture world markets. It is estimated that this platform and association initiatives will have the potential of enhancing non-IT export to $50 billion in three years.