In an incredibly positive development, the Ministry of Commerce has revealed that Pakistan’s ICT exports have witnessed a 46% increase to $420 million in the July-August 2021 period. Overall, technology exports in August of this year represent an 80.6% increase over the same period last year.
During the fiscal year 2020-21, Pakistan’s IT exports increased 47.4 per cent and crossed the $2 billion mark for the first time in the country’s history. On the other hand, in the fiscal year 2019-20, the exports were $1.44 billion.
The impressive growth in IT exports has been observed in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, which grew the demand for automation and IT services all over the world. Naturally, this has meant that Pakistan’s IT companies have had their hands full trying to fulfill orders from various export markets.
Moreover, the jump in exports can also be attributed to a rise in freelancing activity in Pakistan.
According to the International Labour Organization Flagship Report 2021, Pakistan has been ranked as the second-largest supplier of online labour in software development and technology.
Federal Minister for IT and Telecommunication Syed Amin Ul Haque inaugurated a portal for online registration of freelancers at Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB) earlier this month in a move that further highlights the emphasis on freelancing activity in the country.
Last month, the government also announced the establishment of a Rs10 billion fund for providing cash rewards to IT companies against their exports. The government is also set to offer a five per cent rebate on these exports.
Moreover, the government is working to introduce Special Technology Zones (STZs) all over the country to further boost the IT industry. Experts suggest that if a package for IT and telecom gets implemented, the exports could jump to $4 billion.