Software Designing & Development

Introduction and History

Pakistan’s IT exports have grown by 70% over the last three years since 2013. As of 2016, Pakistan’s IT exports are estimated to be around $2.5 billion a year at present including exports generated by both IT companies and freelancers. Domestic revenue is another $500 million (Rs. 52.5 billion). Hence, revenue of IT industry is estimated to be around $3 billion a year at present.

Some incentives for investment in Pakistan’s IT sector are as follows:

• Up to 70% savings on annual operational costs when compared with North America or Europe
• Provision of low rent space in Software Technology Parks (STPs), with fiber-optic connectivity, libraries and conference rooms
• 100% ownership of equity allowed to investing foreign IT/ITeS companies
• Income tax exemption on IT exports revenue till June 2019
• 100% repatriation of profits allowed to IT companies
• Seven year tax holiday for venture capital funds
• Accelerated depreciation of 30% on computer equipment
• The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has allowed banks to open Internet Merchant Accounts
• According to Pakistan Telecom Authority, there are more than 136 million mobile subscribers and more than 40 million broadband users as of December 2016
• Availability of instant, reliable and high-speed connectivity
• Over 85% of telecommunication infrastructure is on fiber-optic cables
• Internet access is available in over 2000 cities/towns across Pakistan

Pakistan IT Industry

Pakistan’s export of Information Technology (IT) and IT-enabled services (ITES) amount to $2.2 billion in fiscal year 2014-15, according to Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB) Managing Director Asim Husain.

In an emailed response to The Express Tribune, PSEB’s chief said freelancers’ contribution in the IT exports of FY15 was $100 million – one-third of $300 million the IT sector generated from domestic sales during the year under review.

“Total revenue of the IT industry is around $2.5 billion a year at present,” Husain said, which means 88% of IT industry’s revenue come from exports alone.