: In yet another major step towards ensuring sustainable growth of Pakistan’s IT Industry, Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB) of Ministry of IT & Telecom has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX). The MOU was signed at Pakistan Stock Exchange. Federal Minister for IT and Telecommunication Syed Amin ul Haque witnessed the occasion. Mr. Osman Nasir, Managing Director, PSEB and Mr. Mr. Farrukh H. Khan, Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director, PSX signed the MOU. Senior Officials from the Federal Ministry of IT & Telecom, PSEB, SECP, PSX and IT Industry representatives were also present at the occasion.
On his keynote Speech the Chief Guest, Federal Minister for Information Technology & Telecommunication Syed Amin Ul Haque, said that the MOU is a giant leap forward for development of Pakistan’s IT Industry. This is the first ever MOU signed between PSEB and PSX. He said that the goal is to increase the number of listed technology companies on PSX Main Board & GEM Board which would in turn help to strengthen financial ecosystem for IT sector growth and contribute to efforts for building a strong brand image of Pakistan’s IT industry in the international markets. Due credit goes to Security and Exchange Commission of Pakistan for reducing corporate governance rules from 21 to 3 and for making it easier for technology firms to register on PSX.
Syed Amin ul Haque said that small to medium enterprises make up a big chunk of business enterprises in Pakistan. SMEs constitute nearly 90% of all enterprises in Pakistan. They contribute about 40% to the annual GDP and employ about 80% of the non-agricultural labor force. The growth enterprises play a major role in a country’s economy. They provide a large number of jobs and contribute significantly to the GDP of a country.
Federal Minister stated that the IT & IT-enabled Services (ITeS) export remittances comprising of computer services and call center services have surged to US$ 1.230 billion at a growth rate of 23.71% in the FY 2019-20 in comparison to US$ 994.848 million during the same period despite the current global economic challenges thereby demonstrating the resilience of Pakistan’s IT sector.
“It is being fueled, in no small part, by smaller IT companies and freelancers. Naturally, they need funding to move up the ladder and this is precisely one of the bottlenecks that are holding the growth of Pakistan’s IT industry from climbing even higher”, said Syed Amin ul Haque.
The IT Minister also said that without proper projection in today’s competitive world, it is difficult to attract the attention of investors and makes it difficult for our commercial entities to attract business and enter collaboration and cooperation deals. We all need to enhance embrace modern tools for enhancing collaboration and cooperation between academia, industry and relevant public sector entities for ensuring the sustainable growth of Pakistan’s IT Industry and now with PSX is going to be easy through enlisting in PSX.
On the occasion, in his welcome address Osman Nasir, Managing Director PSEB said that we would work with PSX to conduct seminars, workshops and events to create awareness of the benefits of listing for IT/ITeS companies and work with PSX authorized financial advisors, consultants and lead managers to assist the selected IT/ITeS companies for listing. He said that PSEB is aiming to have 40 technology companies registered on Pakistan Stock Exchange and would extend significant financial and technical assistance to the tech companies to get listed on Pakistan Stock Exchange.
Managing Director, PSX Farrukh Khan, said that “PSX’s Growth Enterprise Market (GEM) Board facilitates small and medium sized enterprises, greenfield projects and tech startups to get listed on the Stock Exchange and raise capital. The listing regulations for the GEM Board have been made flexible vis the Main Board while listing costs are significantly lower. Furthermore, there is an expanded list of Advisors to choose from, which adds to the convenience of issuers”. Mr. Khan further stated, “The GEM Board of PSX provides an ideal opportunity for small to medium sized growth enterprises such as IT firms and tech start-ups to raise capital and expand their business horizon.