KARACHI: Pakistan’s telecommunication, computer and information services exports jumped 18.5 per cent to $517 million during the first seven months of current fiscal year.
The major chunk of that came under the software consultancy services as exports of the segment rose around 12pc to around $159m during the period under review.
Following closely behind software consultancy, exports of computer software also rose 8.17pc to $129m, from $119m during the same period last fiscal year.
Citing provisional figures for the first half of current fiscal year, P@SHA Chairman Shahzad Shahid said, “IT and ITeS (information technology enabled services) is a sector which has continued to show impressive growth in exports year on year.”
“Growth in the first half of the current fiscal year is 24.71pc which is almost eight times higher than the country’s overall exports during the same time,” he added.
Information technology exports services rose to $1.09 billion during the last fiscal year.
With more than 5,000 IT companies providing services in around 100 countries, Pakistan’s information communication technology (ICT) sector is undergoing a boom as more than 10,000 application developers, freelancers enter into the workforce each year.
“We believe that IT sector can become a $10bn industry and it can create over a million new jobs within 5 years if the government makes growth-focused policies timely,” says Shahid.
“However, for the sector to meet the growth potential, the government has to engage the local tech sector as it digitises its various functions. Building domestic capacity is a must for Pakistan to create jobs for its youth and to achieve its exports targets,” he added.
With more than 30pc population under the age of 20, Pakistan can become the leading ICT exporters. The country has already been named as the favourite destination for freelance work.
Pakistan’s overall services exports during the first five months rose 3pc to $2.165bn during the period under review.
Published in Dawn, February 4th, 2020