ISLAMABAD: The export of telecommunication and information technology grew 40 per cent to $958 million in the first half-year of the current fiscal year from $684m over the corresponding period of last year, reflecting a higher boost in the post-Covid-19 period.
“The ICT exports will soon become a very important sector in Pakistan’s total exports of services and I am optimistic that these would cross the $2 billion mark in the current financial year,” Commerce Adviser Abdul Razak Dawood said on Friday.
On a monthly basis, exports of ICT and telecommunication services grew by 43pc to $194m in December 2020 as compared to $135m in December 2019. “ICT exports now constitute 33pc of our total export of services, which is an encouraging development”, the adviser noted.
A consultative meeting was held at Ministry of Commerce to discuss Pakistan’s global trade in services for the first half of the FY21.
The country’s total export of services stood at $2.844bn in the first half of FY21 as compared to $2.835bn in the corresponding period last year. On the other hand, the import of services declined by 15.7pc year-on-year to $3.821bn.
The trade balance in services improved significantly as it decelerated 42pc to $977m during first half of FY21 as compared to $1.697bn in the same period last year.
Further data analysis shows that growth has been seen in financial services by 26pc followed by insurance and pension 21pc, and other business services (like consultancies) by 2pc. The meeting was informed that because of the Covid-19 pandemic, travel and transport services exports were adversely affected showing negative growth of 28pc and 18pc, respectively.
However, these sectors are likely to improve once the pandemic subsides.
Mr Dawood said in a statement that Pakistan’s services exports have finally turned around and started to show positive growth. He said that services have a central place in both domestic and international economies and account for the bulk of global foreign direct investment and trade. “Services connect countries to the international trading system by facilitating supply chains and e-commerce,” he remarked.
The adviser was informed that all over the world, the workers remittances are included in the export of services as they come under the Mode 4 of the World Trade Organisation classification of services exports, which relates to the presence of natural persons of a member in the territory of any other member.
He was informed that the true impact of services export can be conceived completely workers remittances were also included in the export of services as per the WTO practice.
Published in Dawn, January 23rd, 2021