ISLAMABAD: Minister for IT & Telecommunication Syed Amin ul Haque on Friday said that the IT sector has to harness the potential arising out of the digital shift due to the pandemic and achieve $5 billion export target by the end of FY23.
In a statement, Haq said the measures taken by the IT ministry was moving on the right track and it was witnessed with the increase in exports of Information Technology & IT enabled Services (ITeS) in the current fiscal year.
He referred to the remittances from the exports of computer services and call centre services amounting to $648.940 million during July-November of current fiscal year, showing a growth of 38.16 per cent over the previous years.
The minister said the growth has come on the back of various initiatives including abolishment of registration fees by the Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB) registration for IT & ITeS companies, including call centers and IT start-ups belonging to under-served areas of the country.
“This step has led to growth of IT industry in under-developed areas of the country and was bringing the IT companies from secondary and tertiary cities into the mainstream market,” he added.
“We are taking all possible steps to ensure sustainable growth of Pakistan’s IT industry and to ensure close coordination with the IT industry and associated stakeholders,” the minister said.
He highlighted that other incentives already given to the industry include zero income tax on IT and ITeS exports till June 2025, tax breaks for the PSEB-registered IT start-ups for three years, up to 100pc foreign ownership of IT and ITeS companies, up to 100pc repatriation of profits for foreign IT and ITeS investors, tax holiday for venture capital funds till 2024, among other incentives.
Pakistan exports IT products and services to over 100 countries.
While PSEB Managing Director Osman Nasir said efforts were underway to extend maximum facilitation to start-ups in all important spheres including access to funding channels.
He said the PSEB is being restructured as a front leading global business development and marketing organisation, which would help in the development of the IT industry and human capital behind the borders, and generates demand from beyond the borders.
As per the latest data shared by the Ministry of Commerce, the exports of IT and related services surged around 39pc during the first July-Nov of the current fiscal year.
Pakistan is home to one of the world’s largest community of freelancers with a large number of individuals providing knowledge services to countries around the world.
Despite, Pakistan’s IT-related exports have a lot of potential to grow.
Published in Dawn, December 26th, 2020