The performance of Pakistan’s IT exports have been commendable for the financial year 2016-2017. The record all-time high in IT exports hints at energetic efforts of the government which has introduced various steps, including exempting IT exports from taxes till June 2019, to boost the IT sector.
According to the figures released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), in the 2016-2017 financial year, Pakistan’s IT exports stood at $938.640 million. This is almost an increase of 19 percent in comparison to the last year’s figure of $788.640 million.
On the other hand, the Pakistan Software Exchange Board (PSEB), has painted yet another agreeable picture of IT exports. According to the board, the total amount of exports is an impressive $2.8 billion, almost three times greater than the figures posted by the SBP. However, both the parties are correct in their calculations.
It is worth mentioning that both the organizations have taken a different approach to calculate the final figure. The main domain of the PSEB with regard to IT exports and services is limited to e-health, healthcare sector, financial services, and e-commerce. However, while calculating the final figure, it extends to all the exports that are made by local software houses to international clients.
It is good news that the country’s IT industry managed to stand tall among the rest. What is even more encouraging is the fact that the industry marked an excessive growth at a time when the overall exports of the country were in decline.
It now rests with the government to do more work to strengthen the IT industry of the country. The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication is also expecting to boost IT exports to $10 billion by 2025. This rather difficult target is not unachievable and with the efforts of the relevant authorities, the industry can expand to even larger markets. Recently the ministry has finalized a policy to accelerate digitalization in Pakistan. It is hoped that with proper reforms, the IT industry will grow by leaps and bounds.