Pakistan’s IT exports maintained a tremendous momentum in the current financial year, crossing a mark of $1 billion merely in seven months of the financial year 2020-21.
According to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan, remittances under IT and IT-enabled services surged to $1.119 billion from July 2020 to January 2021 compared to $812 million recorded in the corresponding period of the last financial year, showing a handsome growth of 37 percent year-on-year.
Industry players forecast the exports could touch a mark of $2 billion for the first time in the country’s history if the pace of exports of services continues in the coming months.
The growth in IT exports was driven by the increasing automation, and digitalized services in different countries after new ways of doing business emerged following the outbreak of COVID-19 worldwide.
Different foreign companies, mainly from the USA and EU markets, prefer placing their orders to Pakistani companies rather than Indian and the Philippines.
Barkan Saeed, Chairman Pakistan Software Houses Association (P@SHA) for IT and ITeS told Propakistani,
The growth in IT exports value was driven by the foreign clients moved from Indian companies to Pakistani companies in a post-COVID-19 scenario.
The government could double the exports from $2 billion per annum to $4 billion per annum by the next two years, with a concrete roadmap for the IT sector, which could not only fetch foreign exchange for the country, but it is a key sector that could provide the skilled job to millions of youngsters, Saeed further said.
Local IT companies and the government should work on a strategy to protect the growth of the IT sector on a sustainable basis for the future, he added.
Saeed demanded that IT should be declared a strategic sector with the same focus and treatment. The PM should resolve the pending issues of the sector immediately to unleash the true potential of the IT sector.
Recently, the present government has taken various initiatives related to ease of doing business to promote the export-oriented business of IT companies in Pakistan. However, there are major initiatives in the pipeline which need to be accomplished soon.
P@SHA Chief pointed out the recent challenges for the IT industry, including the raids of FIA on software houses and notifications from FBR to IT companies despite exemptions, saying these impediments will restrict IT players to explore its potential in true letter and spirit.
The government through the Ministry of IT should address these issues promptly to promote the It industry, he further said.