Saturday, August 1, 2009

Pakistan’s IT exports in hot waters, up 19 percent only

Pin It By Muhammad Yasir KARACHI: The country's exports of Information Technology (IT) and its related services have registered a modest
growth of 19 percent compared with last fiscal year. This is the lowest exports growth rate since 2004 because the exports have been witnessing 50 percent growth consecutively for the last five years.
As per statistics obtained from Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB), the country's IT and IT-enabled services exports have touched $201 million despite its plunging demand in the international markets as compared with $169 million exports in 2007-08.
However, the country has missed its exports target of $255 million as the global economic recession has affected its offshore demand in the second half of 2008-09.
Managing Director Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB), Talib Baluch, said the achievement of growth in exports is quite good for the industry in the scenario when global downturn has exerted its impacts on IT and other industries worldwide.
He said IT industry has started feeling the pinch of global economic slowdown as offshore demand of our exports has been declining in the first half of 2008-09, however, he added the country's exports will take time to rebound, most likely with the recovery of its demand in global economies.
Most of the Pakistani companies are working for financial institutions, automobile, call centres and miscellaneous services sectors in different countries.
United State of America is the largest buyer of Pakistan IT-enable service with a share of 58 percent in country's exports. It is followed by UK, where the exports are hovering around 10 percent. The pie of total exports shows 16 percent share of other countries including Australia, Canada, Thailand, UAE and others.
On the contrary, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Software Development has increased by 40.2 percent to $19.1 million in 2008-09.
Industry experts said that expatriate Pakistanis have shifted their business from their residential countries as they got better opportunities and potential in Pakistan in this sector.
They added that IT infrastructure is being built up rapidly whereas availability of cheap human resource and tax exemption
have attracted them to invest in the country particularly for business outsourcing.

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