Software development boom propels Pakistan as a global tech playerBreaking

May 08, 2024

The boom of software development in Pakistan offers a significant opportunity to Pakistan to position itself as a global player in the tech industry. With the right policies and investments in place, the country has the potential to further enhance its export competitiveness and become a regional hub of innovation and technology, said Asfand Yar Khan, Director General (IT) at the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication, in an interview with WealthPK. He said the emergence and growth of software houses have played a pivotal role in bolstering the foreign reserves of nations globally. This influx of foreign currency is instrumental in maintaining economic stability and facilitating international trade, he added. “The government recognizes the pivotal role of the software industry and has taken significant steps to foster its growth. To provide dedicated support, they have established technology parks, incubators, and special economic zones where software companies can flourish. These designated areas offer tailored infrastructure and resources to nurture the development of tech ventures,” he said.

“Furthermore, the government has implemented tax incentives to incentivize investment in the IT sector. These fiscal benefits aim to attract both local and foreign investors, spurring capital inflow into Pakistan's burgeoning software landscape. As a result, software houses across the country have experienced substantial expansion opportunities, enabling them to cater to an increased clientele,” the DG (IT) stated. “The Ministry of IT is taking all possible steps to ensure sustainable growth of the IT industry and close coordination with the IT industry and associated stakeholders,” he added. In a conversation with WealthPK, Fatima Batool, research analyst (Policy, Advocacy, and Research) at the Pakistan Software Houses Association (P@SHA), said software development includes many specific services such as Custom Software Development, Web Application Development, Mobile App Development, Software Testing and Quality Assurance, Software Maintenance and Support, E-commerce Development, Cloud-based Solutions, etc. She said Pakistan's competitive advantage in software development, characterized by lower costs and high-quality output, is a key factor in attracting clients from around the world.

She explained how this advantage positions Pakistan as an attractive outsourcing destination, driving growth in the software industry and contributing to the country's export earnings.” “Benefiting from a sizable reservoir of skilled professionals, the software companies in Pakistan have positioned themselves to compete on the global stage and secure lucrative projects, consequently bolstering the nation's capacity to export software services," she emphasized. She further said, “Over the course of the last few years, P@SHA has broadened its scope to include other IT-enabled services companies such as BPO companies, call centres, animation companies, gaming companies, consulting companies, system integrators and start-ups.” In March 2024, remittances from the ICT services exports surged to $306 million, marking a remarkable 36% increase compared to March 2023's $225 million. This figure represents the highest export value ever recorded in a single month, surpassing the previous peak of $303 million in December 2023.

Credit: Independent News Pakistan