Pakistan aims to quadruple IT exports to $5bn, with freelancing youth to the fore

Which would leave it about four percent of neighboring India’s exports

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Pakistan has given itself a new target for IT services exports, hoping that within three years it can win $5bn of revenue.

The nation currently secures around $1.25bn annually from a mix of consultancy and contact centre services and has seen that figure jump by more than 25 precent year-on-year in recent times.

The leap to $5bn annual export revenue, advanced yesterday by IT minister Syed Amin Ul Haq, would require even faster growth.

However the minister didn’t outline policies likely to assist the rapid increase, instead mentioning the million-plus Pakistani students who have recently been taught technology skills and suggesting that many have won freelance through online marketplaces.

Even if Pakistan hits its target, the nation will be a long way short of rivals like India (annual exports $135bn in 2019) and the Philippines ($5.7bn in 2017). But growth from $1.25bn to $5bn would be a more-than-handy addition to Pakistan’s $315bn GDP and help to advance its reform and growth ambitions. ®

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