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Special Report

Globally speaking, the field is wide open for Pakistan to grab its share out of the available opportunities. With this background the KalSoft has established a software house with a firm determination to play a prominent role in strengthening the national economy by contributing KalSoft's share in software exports.

PAGE: Would you like to highlight the prospects of KalSoft in the exports and its future plans?

GHAFFAR: Currently, due to space problem some 25 developers are working for KalSoft products needed in the local market. Originally, we have to hire over 500 developers to feed the international market shortly and the arrangements are underway for the premises of the software house. We are negotiating with foreign counterparts for exports of various KalSoft products. Once you establish your credibility for producing quality products there is plenty of business in the international market and the KalSoft is about to enter in the world market in a big way.

PAGE: What efforts the KalSoft is making to carve a respectable name in the international market.

GHAFFAR: In effect it is the quality, which speaks itself about the worth of product. For the choosy foreign market, KalSoft has taken various concrete initiative including getting itself certified with ISO-9001 and CMM2 and CMM3 level certifications which is likely to be accorded to KalSoft by next month. In order to penetrate into the world market, KalSoft has also applied for space in the Dubai Internet City. Hopefully we may get it, he said with a confidence. He said that the first phase of Dubai Internet City has proved a great success, as there were 300 applicants for 190 positions. Now they are introducing the second phase of the Internet City for which the KalSoft is also one of the applicants.

PAGE: Why Pakistan should not follow suit for developing an 'Internet City'?

GHAFFAR: The government has already taken some good decisions in this regard and has declared the entire Pakistan as 'IT Zone'. This means wherever you established IT company you would be eligible for all incentives as allowed in any export zone. This is really a bold step and the economy would soon harvest a good crop.

PAGE: Can you assess the real size of current software exports from Pakistan?

GHAFFAR: Officially speaking so far we have attained a meager size of exports, which are somewhere $25-30 million a year. However this does not speak the actual size of the exports due to proper documentation in this field. While one visits abroad he may easily find that Pakistan's real export is much more than what it is being declared. There are various factors for under declaration of the actual size, which include dollar rupee parity, permission to retain a smaller portion of foreign exchange etc. Now the government has allowed retaining 35 per cent of the foreign exchange which is welcome step. However it is almost double in neighbouring India. However IT sector has the potential to take our total exports which are currently less than $10 billion to double the figure in the years to come.

PAGE: Do you think that IT can better the export figures of the textile sector, which is earning over $5 billion a year.

GHAFFAR: Certainly it can leave the textile sector much behind provided the economic managers pay their earnest attention for consolidation of all resources without any political considerations. Human resource development programme needs to be carried out unto the grass-roots level through budgetary allocations and inviting the private sector to invest in human resource development purely in the interest of the nation.