Strategic Roadmap: Pakistan’s Vision for $15 Billion Annual IT Exports in 5-6 Years

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The inaugural IT export strategy report of Pakistan unveils a significant growth potential, projecting the country’s IT/ITeS export revenues to reach up to $15 billion annually within the next 5 to 6 years. Developed in collaboration with the Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB), PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), and international partners, including experts from the University of Oxford, the report envisions Pakistan becoming a global IT hub.

Key findings highlight the presence of 1 million freelancers, a workforce of 316,000 in the IT sector, 226,000 enrolled in IT disciplines at higher education institutions, and 12,000 IT businesses, collectively poised to propel Pakistan into the IT hub status. The strategy outlines a focused approach targeting five priority IT/ITeS market segments and 12 sub-segments, combining high global market growth, significant size, and a limited number of established players.

Presently, Pakistan’s IT exports are directed towards the USA, UAE, UK, Singapore, Canada, and Norway, with the USA alone receiving exports worth $1,066 million in 2020-21. The report emphasizes that the IT sector leads among the country’s services sectors in export growth, with Software Development and IT Services contributing 75% of the total industry revenues.

The five priority IT market segments identified are Software Development, ITES, ITSS, E-Services, and Smart Tech. Within these, 15 priority subsegments include AI, Blockchain, ERP/CRM Integrations, Cloud computing, LPO AR, VR & MR, E-Healthcare, Digital Twin, Cybersecurity BPO, E-learning, and E-Education.

To optimize export market growth, the report calls for macro-level interventions, such as facilitating credit availability based on customer contracts/receivables and providing subsidized credit for establishing BPOs. Other recommendations encompass the unhindered movement of foreign currency earned by freelancers and IT enterprises, tax legislation harmonization to incentivize both local and overseas investments, increased equity and investment from foreign investors, and enhancements in the legal, regulatory, and policy framework.

Strategic inputs for IT export growth include skills development for up to 1 million individuals in technical and managerial training. Moreover, there is an emphasis on upgrading supporting infrastructure, including reliable high-speed internet connectivity, cloud services, and technology parks. These measures, as outlined in the report, aim to position Pakistan as a formidable player in the global IT landscape.

Image Credits (Pro Pakistani)

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