The information and communications technology (ICT) exports maintained healthy growth of inflows which stood at $1.69 billion during July to February during the current financial year 2021-22 with a 30 percent year-on-year increase, according to the latest data issued by State Bank of Pakistan.
ICT has become the top among the services sector in terms of its contribution to the economy. Due to higher inflows in this sector, the overall exports of the services sector also grew by 18 percent year-on-year to stand at $4.49 billion.
ICT exports have been rising consistently since the Covid-19 outbreak, as Pakistani firms and freelancers capture the growing global demand for tech-related services in the wake of remote working and e-learning arrangements. Within ICT, exports increased across almost all segments, including software consultancy, call centers, and telecom services, during the period.
The government as well as the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) are actively working to promote this rapidly growing services segment, including facilitating receipt of export earnings and tax rebates and incentives.
Veqar-ul-Islam, a member of PM’s Task Force on Information Technology said the present government has been efficiently working to promote the IT sector through its program of Digital Pakistan. He noted that the government efforts reflected in the growth of the IT industry and its exports during the last couple of years in the country.
The removal of taxes on IT services will not only encourage freelancing but it will also attract skilled professionals to take a leap of faith toward entrepreneurship and expansion of their businesses at local and global levels, he said.
He observed that the contribution of IT companies and freelancers to the national economy had significantly increased to an all-time high.
The government has set an ambitious target of $50 billion in IT exports that could be achieved in the next few years if incentives like tax holidays and local potential of the industry were realized in letter and spirit, he concluded.