Pakistan and Indonesia have decided to collaborate in the field of the digital economy as they are highly considerate about improving their IT sectors. Many experts believe that Pakistan can learn from Indonesia on setting up unicorn startups. During a Webinar titled “Indonesia-Pakistan IT update: The Development and Challenges”, experts disclosed that Indonesia produced the highest number of startups in the region, i.e., six unicorns and a decacorn.
Badar Khursheed, Chairman of Pakistan Software Houses Association (P@SHA), addressed at the webinar that “Pakistan has a lot to learn from Indonesia, though both can collaborate as Pakistan has its own merits to offer”. Indonesia Consul General Dr June Kuncoro Hadiningrat held various meetings with the business communities in Sindh in which he pointed out that the IT sector can be used to enhance bilateral economic relations. He further added an outlook of the IT sector of both countries and said that before the Covid-19 pandemic, the IT sector of Pakistan had recorded an extraordinary double growth of more than 14%, while Indonesia recorded at more than 11%. In comparison, Pakistan has 500,000 IT professionals, whereas Indonesia has 894,000 professionals.
Pakistan is home to the fourth-largest IT freelancing industry in the world, with consumers in the US, Canada, Europe, the UK and the Middle East. Meanwhile, Indonesia was the hub of several unicorns that were connected to investors in Asia, China, Japan, and the US. He further added that according to 2019 data, “The contribution of IT sector to the economy is relatively modest”, which is 1% in Pakistan (estimated 2.6 billion) and 3.5% in Indonesia (estimated 39.1 billion). Managing Director of Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB) Osman Nasir expressed that over the past three years, Pakistan has witnessed a rapid increase in the growth rate of the IT sector. Every year the demand for IT professionals grows by 50,000 to 60,000, and Pakistan produces 25,000 IT graduates. To meet this requirement, universities have started to introduce an associate degree program. Access to capital for the IT sector is another important issue, and efforts are being made to list software companies on the Pakistan Stock Exchange.