ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB) has reached the figure of USD 175 million annual IT exports during the financial year 2007-08 about USD 13 million more than the USD 162 million target set for the said year. “We are satisfied with the pace of progress of the local IT sector and ambitious about its further growth in future as this is the only industry in Pakistan that has registered a remarkable growth during the last five years,” MD PSEB Talib Baloch said in a recent statement issued here.
Pakistan IT exports of US$116 million for the FY06-07 were also in excess to the set target of US$108 million, he disclosed. “This sector has consecutively registered 50 per cent annual growth in exports for the last five years showing its tremendous potential. If nurtured fully the IT industry could result in voluminous economic and commercial benefits.”
He was of the view that the country’s annual IT related exports could have been over USD 220 million had the power crisis not hit the national economy. “Longer load shedding hours have adversely affected the productivity of many ICT companies. However, despite these odds, PSEB is hopeful to exceed the targeted volume of exports in the forthcoming year(s),” he added.
The IT industry has emerged as the most promising sector in Pakistan bringing in substantial revenues and creating remarkable job opportunities for the country youth. Due to export-oriented nature, he said, the sector has also contributed significantly in enhancing the soft image of Pakistan, as the solutions developed by local IT sector are deployed in various leading companies around the globe. Information Technology has also been instrumental in the growth of various other industrial verticals, facilitating them with the technical capability and automating their processes, and thus increasing their operating margins, the PSEB MD said.
PSEB is a Government agency mandated to promote Pakistan’s IT Industry, including software, IT Enabled Services, hardware and call centers locally and globally. PSEB has been facilitating the IT Industry through its programs in Human Capital, Office Space, Marketing, Company Capability Development, Telecom Bandwidth, Industry Finance, Public Policy, Strategy & Research, and Facilitation. Government has already introduced a package of incentives including tax exemptions for the IT sector until 2016, 100% foreign equity and earnings repatriation and low-rent facilities for IT companies.-SANA