Pak IT exports cross $ 116 million: SBP

Pakistan IT industry’s export revenue as reported by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), touched $ 116 million in the financial year 2006-07, crossing the target of $ 108 million set for the year.
This indicates a quantum increase of 61.18 per cent in IT exports, when compared to the previous year’s export revenue figure of $ 72 million.
SBP, in its statement for the year 2006-07, has estimated the country’s IT services export revenue at $ 116 million, which indicates a consistent annual growth, a spokesman of Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB) said here on Thursday.
Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and call centers have made a significant contribution in the increased exports due to adequate telecom facilities and trained manpower available in the country.
The current IT exports annual growth rate is still understated as only 5 per cent of the country’s registered companies file their exports data with SBP. PSEB is making vigorous efforts to ensure that the export figures of all IT companies are reported to SBP.
State Bank of Pakistan utilized the BPM 5 Reporting System to report the IT exports revenue, which also restricted the export revenue figure to $ 116 million in 2006-07.
The Reserve Bank of India, on the other hand, follows the BPM 6 Reporting System, which raises its exports to billions of US dollars. BPM 6 includes sales to multinationals, earnings of overseas officials and salaries of non-immigrant overseas workers to export revenue.
Utilizing the BPM 6 Reporting System, Pakistan IT industry exports are estimated at $ 1.4 billion while the total industry size is estimated at $ 2.8 billion.
With over 1042 IT companies registered with PSEB, the country’s IT exports grew by an average of 50 percent in each of the last four years.
PSEB has been facilitating the country’s IT industry through its programs in Human Capital, Office Space, Marketing, Company Capability Development, Telecom Bandwidth, Industry Finance, Public Policy, Strategy & Research, and Facilitation.
The government has also introduced a package of incentives for the IT sector including tax exemptions until 2016, 100 per cent foreign equity and earnings repatriation, and low-rent facilities for IT companies.

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2007