KARACHI: Pakistan’s information technology exports increased 41 percent to $1.3 billion in the eight months of this fiscal year, the central bank data showed on Monday, as the coronavirus-related restrictions accelerated the demand for IT services to meet both social and economic needs of people.
IT exports rose 69 percent year-on-year to $179 million in February. The rise was 11 percent when compared with the previous month. Technology exports contributed 34 percent to overall services exports. Exports of services stood at $3.809 billion in July-February FY201, compared with $3.815 billion in the same period of the last fiscal year.
The growing use of digital means for making financial transactions and the measures taken by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) contributed to this rise in the exports of IT services. Electronic banking transactions increased 22 percent to Rs21.4 trillion in the second quarter of this fiscal year, according to the SBP’s Quarterly Payment System Review (QPSR) for the second quarter of the fiscal year 2020/21.
In the last few years, digital payment transactions in Pakistan have shown significant growth, reflecting the favourable impact of the SBP’s policies in shifting customer preferences. The SBP said expansion in digital payment infrastructure as well as the emergence of new payment aggregators has played a role in this growth. In line with its declared objectives to digitise payment and financial services, SBP would continue promoting digitisation in the country and expects the industry to support these efforts, which would increase convenience and financial inclusion for all Pakistanis.
The central bank also allowed exporters of goods and services, including IT-based services, to retain a certain portion of their exports proceeds in their special foreign currency accounts (SFCA).