The world is becoming a global village as the employment pool for firms around the world is expanding. Alongside its global expansion, this broader job market is flowing quickly to Asia, where workers are more educated and technically proficient from a younger age.
With an ever-growing population of freelancers in the country and initiatives taken by local bodies such as DigiSkills, Pakistan has become Asia’s biggest epicenter for the internet’s ever-expanding market of remote work. According to a report by one of the leading payment platforms, Payoneer Global Gig Economy Index for Q2 2019, Pakistan with its 47% growth rate, now ranks at fourth number among the fastest-growing freelance markets in the world.
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Thanks to its direct line into the world’s digital cash flows, Payoneer is able to provide granular insights into why Asian countries like Pakistan, in particular, have ridden the crest of the gig economy’s massive wave. It also helps build a case for their continued success in this regard.
In the race of freelancing, Pakistan has beaten other countries including India to claim the top spot among Asia nations that showed steep upwards growth in their gig economies. The US stood first among the fastest-growing freelance markets with a rising figure of 78% since the last year’s same period.
Here’s a list of the top 10 fastest-growing markets.
- U.S (78% growth)
- U.K. (59% growth)
- Brazil (48%)
- Pakistan (47% growth)
- Ukraine (36% growth)
- Philippines (35% growth)
- India (29% growth)
- Bangladesh (27% growth)
- Russia (20% growth)
- Serbia (19% growth)
Notably, Pakistan is a defining country in the freelancer landscape of 2019, and Payoneer’s Gig Economy Index demonstrates how successful its efforts were to drive demand for an increasingly-skilled (and connected) workforce. Pakistan has directly benefited by nurturing its younger and naturally tech-savvy population, 70% of which are under 30 years old.
The report also states that the number of freelancers in Pakistan has grown exponentially since the second quarter of 2018. This coincides directly with the start of the first batch of DigiSkills.pk program and the growth rate has direct attribution to the progress of this program.
Digiskills.pk is Pakistan’s largest training program, developed and run through Ignite, under the ambit of Ministry of Information Technology & Telecom. Within a year more than 500,000 trainings have been given across Pakistan.
Meanwhile, Pakistani govt has launched several initiatives in the past which are the reason behind this immense growth of freelancers. The e-Rozgar freelancing program which is a joint venture of the Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB), Youth Affairs, Sports, and Archeology & Tourism (YASAT)’s, has trained over 9,000 unemployed graduates who have earned 100 million rupees through freelancing altogether.
Though developing a better ecosystem for the Pakistani workforce to earn via freelancing is the need of the hour but government should also focus on providing suitable employment opportunities in the country to utilize our youth’s potential in the local industry.