Pakistan’s Information Technology (IT) exports are likely to experience a significant growth spurt by 2025. Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB) has estimated that the country’s IT exports will increase to approximately $5 billion by 2020, and $10 billion by 2025.
The Managing Director of PSEB Asim Shahryar Hussain while briefing the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Information and Telecommunication said that IT exports currently stand at $2.84 billion, however, only ¼ of foreign revenue is transferred back to Pakistan while the remaining revenue is kept abroad in a bid to cover expenses of foreign offices and international marketing. He further said that in the last fiscal year IT exports remittances were $561 million, which are likely to increase to $661 million for the current fiscal year.
The figures mentioned above are solely based on the statistics provided by PSEB during the briefing, which has the mandate to promote Pakistan’s IT industry on national and international level.
Interestingly, PSEB failed to provide a road-map to achieve the estimated targets of IT exports, when asked by the committee. The committee also demonstrated extreme displeasure over the low IT exports compared to neighboring countries such as China and India. In addition, PSEB believe that the country’s image in the international market is the major reason behind the low IT exports.
The official of PSEB maintained that IT exports of the country currently stand at $2.8 billion, whereas the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has reported that IT exports stand at $561 million. Since the IT sector of the country is unregulated and there is no restriction on companies to register with the PSEB, therefore, it is difficult to estimate Pakistan’s net IT exports.
Many experts believe that the IT industry of Pakistan has great potential, which the country failed to fully utilize due to unavailability of proper infrastructure for the IT industry.
Expressing their interest during the briefing, the committee members recommended that IT and telecom sectors should follow international standards to achieve the set targets.
However, only the time will tell whether Pakistan’s IT industry can hit the $10 billion target by 2025 or not.