The IT and IT-enabled Services (ITeS) export remittances comprising computer services and call center services increased by 3.3 percent during the first quarter (July-Sep) of the current fiscal year 2023-24 and clocked in at $655 million compared to $634 million during the same period of last fiscal year.
The State Bank of Pakistan’s (SBP) data showed that ITeS export remittances declined by around 12.5 percent on a month-on-month (MoM) basis in September 2023 and remained $206 million compared to $235 million in August 2023.
On a year-on-year (YoY) basis, the sector export remittances decreased by around 0.5 percent compared to $ 207 million in September 2022.
ICT export remittances, including telecommunication, computer, and information services, stood at $ 2.597 billion, a negative growth rate of around 1 percent in the fiscal year 2022-23 compared to $ 2.619 billion in the fiscal year 2021-22.
The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications has identified several constraints including inconsistency in policies, taxation issues, and banking hurdles which are hampering the country’s information technology sector’s export potential of $15 billion.
Official documents revealed that over the past five years, phenomenal upward growth of 178 percent in IT & ITeS exports has been realized at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 30 percent, the highest growth rate in comparison to all other local industries in services and even higher than the textile sector which stands at 148 percent.
However, a number of constraints and hurdles are hindering the growth of IT and ITeS exports. Inconsistency of policies has eroded the confidence of local and international investors, customers, and partners not to mention the trade bodies and government entities. Frequent changes in taxation policy on IT & ITeS export proceeds are one such example.