A look at Information Technology and Telecommunication Sector 

Engineering Post Report

Information Technology has become  a crucial facilitator  in the development of a knowledge society  and knowledge economy, playing a significant role in the country’s economic  progress.

The federal government was actively pursuing the “Digital Pakistan Vision” to promote a digital economy, leading to economic prosperity and empowerment of citizens. It aims to enhance the quality of life and economic well-being of the people by .ensuring  affordable, accessible and high quality IT services for all.

According to Kearney’s Global Services Location Index (2021), Pakistan ranked second  globally as the most  financially attractive location for offshore  outsourcing of IT and ITeS.

As of March 2023, there were 5109 registered IT and ITeS companies  under the Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB)  representing exporters. During July 2022-March 2023 period  , IT exports  amounted to US $ 1.94 billion slightly lower than the previous year’s US $ 1.95  billion during the same period.

IT exports  constituted  the largest  proportion (35.1 percent) of all services sector exports. In the first three-quarters of FY2023, Pakistani freelancers had contributed  to foreign exchange  earnings through  remittances, with IT  earning US $ 156.9 million and non-IT earning US $ 112.9 million  totalling  Us $ 269.8 billion .

During the same period,  PSEB added  seven Special Technology  Parks to enhance infrastructure  facilities  across various cities in Pakistan., while IGNITE established eight National Incubation Centres( NICs) in different cities, supporting startups and women entrepreneurs. So far, NICs have quite successfully  incubated  over 660 startups out of 1317 creating more than 126000 jobs, attracting  investments worth Rs 15.43 billion ( US $ 74 million) and generating  combined  revenue of Rs 9.13 billion.

As of March 2023,  the total telecom  subscriptions in Pakistan, including  mobile and fixed lines, had reached  197 million, with a tele density of  83.2 per cent. The telecom sector had contributed  approximately provisionally   Rs 139 billion  to the national exchequer  during July-December FY2023. The future  economic transformation of Pakistan, according to the experts, relies on harnessing, to the maximum extent possible, the potential  of the IT and telecom sectors. In order to achieve this, key initiatives  of the federal government  included  the establishment of  special technology zones, expansion of  broadband and 5G networks, promotion of  e-commerce and e-governance platforms, enhancement of  cyber security and data protection measures, and facilitation of foreign investment and collaboration.