The dynamics of a knowledge society and economy are forming, and information technology has taken on a crucial enabling role, emerging as a vital lever of economic progress.
Pakistan moves forward with the IT revolution Pakistan, like many other countries in the area, is undergoing a digital transformation that is helping to distinguish it as a top destination for software development, BPO, and freelancing. Pakistan, a nation of 220 million people, has a sizable human and knowledge capital due to the fact that almost 60% of its population is between the ages of 15 and 29. There are already more than 2,000 IT businesses and call centres in the nation, and that number is increasing yearly. Pakistan has 13 Software Technology Parks, more than 20,000 IT graduates and engineers are created each year, and more than 300,000 English-speaking IT professionals with competence in both established and emerging IT products and technologies.
With a 47% increase in freelance earnings and a 70% increase in its exports of IT over the previous three years, Pakistan is the fourth fastest growing market for independent contractors. The development of the nation’s digital infrastructure is accelerating quickly. One of the fastest expanding industries in the nation is IT/IT-enabled services, which accounts for $3.5 billion, or 1% of the GDP. According to the Ministry of IT and Telecom, IT exports increased significantly from $2.108 billion during fiscal year 2020–21 to $2.616 billion (July 2021–June 2022) with a growth rate of 24.1%.
Comparing the first eight months of the current fiscal year to the same period last year, Pakistan’s exports of IT climbed by 26%. They have increased by half over the past four years, and analysts predict that they will increase by 100% more over the next two to four years to reach $7 billion.
The State Bank of Pakistan estimates that Pakistan’s software exports are currently worth $700 million. Freelancers in the nation, who are not registered, contribute an additional $1.2 billion to exports, a figure that the central bank does not track. ICT industry size is intended to reach $20 billion by 2025 in compliance with Pakistan Vision 2025 and Digital Policy 2018.
The most significant development is that the nation’s otherwise deteriorating security situation has significantly improved recently. Numerous profitable businesses, like Careem, Daraz, Zameen.com, Rozee.pk, and others, are attracting new capital to Pakistan. The startup environment is also attracting traditional investors from Pakistan’s textile and fertiliser industries.
Other South Asian countries are finding it difficult to compete in technology fields like artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, cyber security, automation, etc. as a result of rising costs in the traditional IT outsourcing revolution. According to a survey by the San Francisco-based organisation Deel, Pakistani freelancers’ incomes are among the highest-growing in the world. With a 27% pay increase, Pakistanis came in third after Mexico (57%) and Canada (38%). Payoneer’s 2019 poll revealed that Pakistani women freelancers were making $22 per hour, 10% more than the $20 per hour earned by men. The incomes of male freelancers in Pakistan are comparable to the global average. Pakistan’s technological ecosystem has rapidly expanded as a result of the multibillion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.