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Ministry envisions to earn $5 billion from IT exports by 2023

By Our Correspondent
December 26, 2020

ISLAMABAD: With a vision to achieve $5 billion by 2023, Pakistan’s export remittances from information technology and IT enabled services (ITeS) surged 38.16 percent to $648.940 million during July-November of FY2020-21, compared to $469.713 million during July-November FY2019-20, a statement said on Friday.

This was the highest growth rate achieved by the IT sector since 2018, when growth rate for the corresponding period was just 13 percent, the statement added.

Lauding the latest exports performance of the industry, Minister for IT and Telecommunication Syed Amin Ul Haque said the initiative for bringing the IT companies from secondary and tertiary cities into mainstream was well underway for ensuring holistic growth.

He said that the Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB) registration fee for IT and ITeS companies, including call centres and IT start-ups belonging to underserved areas of the country, have been completely waived to boost growth of the IT industry across Pakistan.

Haque has set a target of $5 billion for export remittances through information technology and ITeS during the next three years.

The PSEB’s performance in just five Month of the current Fiscal year was a great milestone to reach the targeted destination.

“We are taking all possible steps to ensure sustainable growth of Pakistan's IT industry and to ensure close coordination with the IT industry and associated stakeholders,” the minister said.

Incentives to the industry include zero income tax on IT and ITeS exports till June 2025, tax breaks for the PSEB-registered IT start-ups for three years, up to 100 percent foreign ownership of IT and ITeS companies, up to 100 percent repatriation of profits for foreign IT and ITeS investors, tax holiday for venture capital funds till 2024, among other incentives, he added.

This growth was especially laudable keeping in view the current global economic challenges thereby demonstrating the resilience of Pakistan’s IT industry eco system, and was a tribute to Pakistan’s IT industry professionals.

Pakistan’s IT sector exports products and services to over 100 countries and counts world’s largest entities among its regular clients. It was the largest net services export industry in Pakistan’s economy.

PSEB Managing Director Osman Nasir said that all possible efforts were being made to achieve $5 billion remittances inflow from the country’s IT sector by Year 2023, as per the target set by the IT minister.

PSEB is working on major new initiatives in marketing, infrastructure, capital availability, policy and consulting, human resources, and business development. Efforts were underway to extend maximum facilitation to the start-ups in all important spheres, including access to funding channels.

“PSEB is being restructured as a front leading global business development and marketing organisation, which will help in the development of the IT industry and human capital behind the borders, and generate demand from beyond the borders,” Nasir added.