ISLAMABAD: The talent pool in Pakistan’s information technology (IT) ecosystem is impressive which is why there is significant potential in its industry.

These views were expressed by chairman of Asia Pacific Information Communication Technology Alliance (APICTA) Stan Singh at a press conference prior to the final award ceremony for APICTA 2022, which was hosted by Pakistan. Other representatives of the alliance besides teams of the Pakistan Software Houses Association (P@SHA) were also present.

The award ceremony was held in the lush green foothills of Islamabad. As the host, representatives from Pakistan’s IT industry welcomed delegates and judges from 16 economies who brought a whole new perspective to collaboration, business activity and creativity in strengthening of the IT industry of the Asia Pacific region.

Mr Singh said that he saw significant potential in Pakistan as a country and in its IT industry, and that he was proud of casting his vote in favour of Pakistan to host APICTA awards 2022.

“When I compare Pakistan’s IT ecosystem with that of other more developed ones, I can comfortably say that you are on the right path. I have found the start-up ecosystem to be impressive and the talent pool limitless. Keep working the way you are for reaching any landmark that you wish to. If you were to ask me to mark Pakistan on a checklist of 1-10, I would say that Pakistan gets 10 on 10,” he added.

Vice chairman of APICTA Fulvio Inserra spoke about the need for a long-term policy framework for the digital ecosystem that was above any political change to ensure continuous success for Pakistan’s IT industry.

“Investors need to see stability and return on investment (ROI), and that is only possible when uncertainty is done away with. Progressive policies need to be cast in stone for the industry’s steady and long-term development,” the speaker said.

Chief Judge of APICTA 2022 Prof Shoaib A. Khan said: “I am proud of all Pakistani teams to have stood shoulder to shoulder with their foreign counterparts. My friends and colleagues who were assigned the responsibility of judging witnessed a well-fought competition and faced a tough challenge in short-listing only a few as winners. I feel that all have won and most of all it is a great win for Pakistan.”

He elaborated on the strict parameters that were set for all judges regarding punctuality and conformity to the given paradigms. With no room for non-compliance, a zero-tolerance policy was followed.

Newly-elected P@SHA Chairman Zohaib Khan was grateful to the IT ministry for its support and continuous partnership in enabling all teams to ensure execution as planned.

He thanked all the sponsors, facilitators, PSEB, and especially the 16 visiting economies for making APICTA 2022 Pakistan a major success. “I am especially grateful to Asia Pacific economies that made Pakistan their destination for APICTA 2022,” he said.

Badar Khushnood who is the former chairman of P@SHA said: “I want all the visiting foreign teams going back home to carry a positive beautiful Pakistan in their hearts. I would also like to see their continuous collaboration and engagement with the talent, start-ups and businesses in Pakistan. Through APICTA, I look forward to Pakistan’s potential getting empowered for a global role.”

Published in Dawn, December 12th, 2022

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