The IT sector of Pakistan has recorded the highest ever export receipts of $194 million in a single month in its history, according to data issued by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).
The export values of the IT sector and its allied sectors also reached a record high in the first half of the financial year, which stood at $958 million.
The exports grew by over 40 percent year-on-year as compared to the exports of $684 million registered in the same period of the last financial year.
The remarkable growth in the IT exports was driven through software consultancy, BPO, e-commerce, and telecommunication services, etc. Pakistan’s leading software houses received long-term projects from clients in the exporting markets (USA, UK, EU, and the Middle East) over the last few months due to the high demand for IT services both in these regions and worldwide.
The IT industry also received numerous orders for exports from various new clients in different countries, including a section of clients that had previously worked with India and Vietnam and had switched to Pakistan for its better working situation during the pandemic.
According to the industry stakeholders, the IT industry has transitioned to an expansion mode as leading companies are aggressively hiring new professionals to meet the demands for both exports and local projects. Additionally, various in-house and outsourced training programs are being launched to prepare new human resources to meet the growing demands.
More than 3000 active IT/ITeS companies that specialize in custom software development, enterprise resource planning (ERP), financial solutions, mobile content, document management, enterprise computing, and business process outsourcing (BPO) have registered with the Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB).
The government also addressed the IT sector’s issues that had recently allowed it to retain up to 35 percent of the export earnings in special currency accounts in order to accelerate the exports.
Under the new terms, IT companies can make investments and acquire shares in various potential companies, including their subsidiaries and joint-ventures with foreign companies.
The government has also approved the establishment of a special technology zone in Islamabad to support the businesses of Pakistan’s IT companies.
The stakeholders declared that the government is working hard to bring in reforms and ease the conduction of businesses in the IT sector as Prime Minister Imran Khan is directly monitoring the situation according to his vision of a Digital Pakistan.
The government has incentivized the international outsourcing community to include 100 percent equity ownership, 100 percent repatriation of capital and dividends, and income tax exemption for the IT exports until June 2025.
Additionally, a company’s profits and gains from its export of either computer software, IT services, or IT-enabled services are exempt from tax until 30 June 2025.
With such consistent developments and the increasing projects of exports, the IT industry is expected to achieve $2 billion worth of exports by the end of the financial year 2020-21.