Remittances received by the country through IT sector, including IT-enabled services and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), have witnessed a record growth of 151% in the past five years, reported the Economic Survey for 2018-19.
According to the survey:
There has been a consistent growth in IT &ITeS-BPO remittances over the last 5 years, with 151 percent growth in IT &ITeS-BPO remittances at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20 percent, the highest growth rate in comparison with all other industries and the highest in the region.
Pakistan’s IT &ITeS-BPO exports are estimated to have crossed US $ 3.3 billion a year at present, according to industry formula, which is thrice as much as figures from the central bank. In addition, export remittances earned by small and medium enterprises and freelancers are estimated to be $500 million, whereas annual domestic revenue exceeds $1 billion.
While the survey claims are extremely exciting, the present growth of IT exports remains stagnant with little growth in values from the previous years. The current government set up a task force on IT and telecom involving industry stakeholders but they are not happy due to the attitude of the ministry, which they believe is negative.
Pakistan Is an Attractive Location
Pakistan is the 3rd most financially attractive location in the world for offshore services, according to A.T. Kearney’s Global Services Location Index.
More than 300 international companies including Global enterprises like Bentley (R), Ciklum (R), IBM (R), Mentor Graphics (R), S&P Global (R), Symantec (R), Teradata (R), and VMware (R) have established global consulting services centers, research & development facilities, and BPO support services centers in Pakistan.
Pakistan’s IT sector has a promising future, brimming with talent, and with potential to become the largest export industry of the country. Already, the IT industry is among the top 5 net exporters of the country with the highest net exports in the services industries, the survey stated.
FDI inflows in the ICT Sector
The reported FDI inflow in the ICT sector (IT & Telecom) for the period July 2018-January 2019 stands at $ 114.4 million, according to the survey.
PTI Government Initiatives
Beside constituting a task force for the sector, the PTI government introduced various initiatives under policy intervention in the closing financial year including the rollout of Digital Pakistan Policy 2018, the establishment of internet registry, replication of e-office suit, introduction of Centralized Procurement Plan for Federal Government, and various other measures for improving the mechanism of E-commerce and E-governance in the country.