KARACHI: Exports of IT-related services have increased by 40 per cent in the first half of the current fiscal (1HFY21), Federal Minister of Information and Communication on Technologies (ICTs) Aminul Haque said on Monday.

Speaking at a programme on telemedicine, the minister said that diversification in exports has been emerging fast and the IT sector has shown substantial growth in the last few years. This growth could yield more foreign exchange for the country, he added.

The minister said that 5G services are also expected to be launched by the end of this year while local smartphone manufacturing has also begun in the country.

“It is very heartening to see female entrepreneurs coming forward in tech and I wish to see more such events where females-led organisations are raising foreign investment for Pakistan,” the minister said.

SBP governor says Sehat Kahani, with a network of 5,000 doctors, will be case study for other female entrepreneurs

The telemedicine project Sehat Kahani was founded by two doctors-turned-entrepreneurs, Dr Sara Saeed Khurram and Dr Iffat Zafar Aga. They succeeded in raising $1 million dollars from leading global investors.

Applauding the telemedicine project, State Bank Governor Dr Reza Baqir said the central bank was taking all necessary initiatives to provide an enabling environment to IT startups and financial inclusion of women.

He said that cases such as Sehat Kahani can serve as an inspiration for other startups, especially those created and led by women.

Dr Baqir added that the SBP is working on gender mainstreaming policy titled ‘Banking on Equality: Reducing the Gender Gap in Financial Inclusion’.

The proposed policy aims to introduce a gender lens within the financial sector through identified pillars and specific measures, to bring a shift towards women friendly business practices.

“The SBP is building market infrastructures and facilities that support women entrepreneurs in the country,” the central bank governor said.

Sehat Kahani, with an expanded network of 5,000 doctors, shall be a case study for many other female entrepreneurs that how gender should never be a barrier on the way to success, the SBP governor said.

Published in Dawn, March 16th, 2021

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