According to a new World Bank report, about 42.4 percent of freelancers in Pakistan are in the software development field. Incredibly, this accounts for about 10.5 percent of the global freelance community in software development, which means that the country contributes more software development freelancers than Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.
As reported by Business Recorder, the World Bank in its report “At Your Service? The Promise of Services-Led Development” noted that as per Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB) data, Pakistan has a total of 4,641 IT firms and 4,066 call centers.
Largely spread across Karachi, Lahore, and Islamabad, Pakistan’s IT industry currently employs over 300,000 professionals. For the most part, the IT sector here features domestically-owned firms with limited foreign operations.
The report went on to note that Pakistan’s IT services exports have, on average, grown by 10.8 percent per year, going from $433 million in fiscal year 2009-10 to over $1 billion in 2018-19. During this period, 52 percent of the country’s telecom and IT exports have gone to the United States, followed by 8.8 percent to the United Arab Emirates, and seven percent to the United Kingdom.
Moreover, the report stated that the majority of the country’s ICT exports are focused in enterprise planning, app development, and integration.
It is worth noting that while Pakistan still accounts for less than one percent of world exports in computer-related services, it has the third-highest number of freelancers in the IT/ITeS field. More to the point, specifically in terms of software development, the country’s freelancers are making waves by accounting for 10.5 percent of the global software freelancer population.