ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s IT exports marked a significant 15% growth in October. Exports of $238 million were recorded compared to the previous month’s $206 million, as reported by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).
Over the first four months (July-October) of fiscal year 2023-24, IT and IT-enabled Services (ITeS) export remittances, encompassing computer services and call center services, rose by approximately 4.4% to $893 million, surpassing the $855 million recorded during the same period in the previous fiscal year.
Leading IT exporter Noman A. Said emphasized the need for enhancing IT companies’ exports in the coming months, attributing potential growth to the government’s provision of a 50% retention facility for foreign exchange accounts. With this facility, IT companies can target big-ticket export orders, fostering the exploration of new and mega projects. Said urged IT companies to fulfill their commitment to repatriate foreign exchange from offshore offices, including investments.
Furthermore, he called upon banking institutions to facilitate IT companies and freelancers in maintaining foreign exchange in dedicated accounts, advocating for a long-term continuation of this policy to achieve sustained results.
In collaboration with the central bank, the interim government is implementing long-term measures to stabilize the IT sector, ensuring unhindered growth and addressing the current account deficit. The sector not only promises to bring foreign exchange into the country but also foresees the creation of jobs for skilled youth in the near future.
Tufail Ahmed Khan, President and CEO of the Pakistan Freelancers Association (PAFLA), stressed that the government should extend additional facilities to freelancers in IT and non-technical services. In addition to the 50% retention facility for foreign exchange accounts, Khan proposed dedicated subsidies for freelancers pursuing various skill development courses and acquiring software and services. He also suggested the provision of non-interest loans for groups of freelancers to enhance their capacity to work for foreign clients, contributing to increased foreign exchange inflow for the country.