Digital technology has gained prominence as a critical element of economic growth, national security, and international competitiveness. In the same way, the IT sector is immensely important to Pakistan’s economy which has accomplished consistent, consecutive year on year growth rates that can be the envy of any industry anywhere in the world and is a real superstar on its way to possibly become the largest foreign exchange earner for Pakistan. Already, IT industry is among the top 5 net exporters of the country with the highest net exports in the services industries. The Government has assigned top priority to the IT sector and has provided strong incentives for the growth of IT industry.
In the present time, when the COVID-19 pandemic has grappled the whole world and economies have been badly hit,
Pakistan’s IT industry is still evolving and has the resilience to overcome this unprecedented tragedy. With a mature ecosystem, Pakistan is now emerging as a global economic force and a major contributor to the Pakistani economy in particular and the world in general. Serving the needs of global entities at among the lowest of costs, nearly 70% lower than developed markets such as North America.
Pakistan is ranked 5th most financially attractive location in the world for offshore services, according to A.T. Kearney’s Global Services Location Index 2019.
Several international companies including Global enterprises like Bentley®, IBM®, Mentor Graphics®, S&P Global®, Symantec®, and Teradata® have established global consulting services centers, research & development facilities and BPO support services centers in Pakistan.
Government Incentives to develop Pakistan’s IT industry and attract foreign investment:
- Zero Income tax on IT exports till June 2025
- 100% equity allowed for foreign investors
- 16 IT Parks with IT-enabled infrastructure and state of the art redundant facilities
- Accelerated depreciation of 30% on computer equipment
- 100% repatriation of dividend and investment allowed to foreign IT investors
- Tax holiday for venture capital funds till 2024
- Three-year tax holiday for IT startups with no minimum tax and withholding tax.
- Up-to 70% savings on annual operational expenses (OPEX) as compared to North America and Europe