About 42.4 percent of freelancers in Pakistan are in software development, which is about 10.5 percent of the global freelance software development. Most Pak freelancer are software expert. According to the World Bank, this is much higher than Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka, but lower than India.
In his latest report, “At Your Service? Promise for Service Oriented Development, ”the bank said the Pakistani Software Export Council currently has 4,641 IT companies and 4,066 call centers registered. The industry is mainly located in three large cities – Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad, and employs more than 300,000 IT professionals.
A survey of 300 IT companies by the National ICT Research and Development Foundation (now known as Ignite) under the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications found that 14 percent of firms had 50 or more employees, 17 percent had 25 to 50 employees. and the rest had less than 25 employees.
The sector consists mainly of local firms with limited overseas operations. At least 13 percent of the firms surveyed were foreign, and only one of the top 10 exporters is foreign. However, Pakistan’s international IT presence includes, inter alia, IBM, Oracle and Cisco.
Pakistan’s ICT services experts ans freelancer highlight report
The report mentions that about 53.8% of the industry’s revenue comes from the export market, according to the country’s largest private sector association for the IT industry, the Pakistani IT and IT Software Developers Association.
The report also highlights that Pakistan’s ICT services exports grew at an average rate of 10.8 percent annually, rising from $ 433 million in fiscal 2009-10 to over $ 1 billion in 2018-19, when 52 percent of telecommunications. Exports of computer and information services went to the United States, then 8.8% to the United Arab Emirates and 7% to the United Kingdom.
The share of computer services in exports of these ICT services increased from 44 percent to 73 percent between 2009-10 and 2018-19, with an average annual growth of 17.3 percent. The report also clarifies that within computer services, exports are concentrated in low and medium value-added software services, which include enterprise planning, application development and integration. Activity in product development is also limited.
In addition, low value added services such as call centers lead the BPO segment, accounting for 90 percent of the segment’s export revenue. A small number of firms provide offshore services in higher value-added segments such as banking, finance, insurance and healthcare.
Nonetheless, while exports of computer services account for less than 1 percent of global exports, Pakistani exports in this subsector have ample room for growth. However, official statistics do not fully reflect Pakistan’s export success. Industry experts estimate roughly $ 1.5 billion in exports – $ 1 billion for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and $ 0.5 billion for online freelancers.
In addition, Pakistan is currently ranked third in the world for the number of freelancers for IT and IT services, just behind India and Bangladesh.
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