In 8 years, Pakistan can make $60b: OICCI report

Digitisation has the potential to add $60 billion to Pakistan’s economy within the next seven to eight years says the Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) in its recently published report.

The OICCI report titled “Recommendations for Digital Transformation in Pakistan”, presented to the president of Pakistan, aims to help the country on its digital journey. The report covers suggestions on e-commerce, fintech, IT exports and web 3.0 technologies etc.

“Digitisation offers innovative employment prospects to 23% of the population falling in the age bracket of 20–34 years of age group and can add $60 billion to the economy within the next seven to eight years,” highlights the report.

The Express Tribune reached out to stakeholders and analysts to seek their opinion on the report.

Daraz Pakistan Managing Director (MD) Ehsan Saya said, “Digitisation is not only the need of the hour, it can also help our economic health. Currently, e-commerce constitutes less than 2% of our overall retail economy, which is far behind other regional markets. The growth of this industry will bring in more foreign investment as Pakistan is one of the most promising emerging markets in the world.”

“As the e-commerce sector continues to grow, it will create numerous direct and indirect employment opportunities, not only in urban areas but also for our semi-urban and rural population, said Saya.

The report offers key recommendations to policymakers, including suggestions for digital infrastructure and connectivity, government, private sector and mass digital usage, emerging web 3.0 technologies and digital regulations to accelerate innovation in Pakistan. According to a research report, a 10% increase in broadband penetration results in increasing the GDP by 1.4%.

“As more businesses switch to online operations to meet consumer and business expectations, digitisation presents tremendous possibilities,” said Waqas Ghani Kukaswadia, ICT Analyst at JS Global. “The potential financial benefits of digitisation are also significant. Early adopters are also being rewarded by public markets with record prices; during the past year, several new digitisation technologies and businesses have seen an influx of capital,” he added.

OICCI President Ghias Khan emphasised that “Digitisation can also help with the inclusion of the underserved population of society living in the far-flung areas of the country. Around 23 million children in Pakistan are out of school and we have less than one physician for 1000 people. To help Pakistan overcome these issues, it is important to digitise the education and health sectors in a phased manner, preparing national electronic health records and arranging capacity-building workshops for professionals,” he elaborated.

Courtesy Express Tribune