Pakistan IT exports rise to $2.9 billion

Pakistani freelancers are estimated to be earning more than $300 million annually

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ISLAMABAD: Due to government incentives to IT and Information Technology Enabled Services (ITeS) industry, Pakistan’s IT exports have grown to an estimated $2.9 billion which includes Pakistani freelancers estimated to be earning more than $300 million annually.

While talking to APP Managing Director Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB) Iftekhar Shah said, government incentives to the IT & ITeS industry include income tax exemption on IT exports till June 2019, 100% foreign ownership, 100% repatriation of capital and dividends, 3-year tax exemption for IT startups, and tax holiday for venture capital funds till June 2024.

He said, Pakistani domestic market for IT & IT Products and services is also strong, estimated at over $ 500 million in annual revenue, and growing rapidly.  Total annual revenue of Pakistan’s IT Industry is nearing $3.5 billion. Pakistan’s IT industry has demonstrated positive growth trends for the last four ten with 100% growth in export earnings, he added.

He told APP that, several long-term projects are in the pipeline for the benefit of the IT industry which aim to focus on infrastructure development, fostering innovation/entrepreneurship, adoption of ICT in public sector as well as domestic demand generation for the ICT products/services.

Incentives, programs and projects geared towards IT industry growth are closely monitored and regularly reviewed to ensure that maximum benefits accrue to the growth of the local ICT Industry, he added. He mentions that, PSEB also organizes trade delegations comprising of Pakistani IT companies to enhance collaboration and cooperation between Pakistan’s IT sector and relevant entities in countries important to Pakistan’s IT sector.

Ministry of Information Technology & Telecom, through PSEB under the leadership of Minister of Information Technology and Telecom, Anusha Rehman, is making all possible efforts to facilitate IT companies to multiply the exports of IT products and services from Pakistan and to attract FDI towards the local IT Industry.

The Minister has constituted a multi-stakeholder High Level Executive Council Forum (ECF) to work on how to increase IT & ITES exports as part of the government economic growth agenda and has stressed upon PSEB authorities to complete all running projects within stipulated time-period with complete efficacy to boost IT exports.