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ISLAMABAD: The IT and IT-enabled Services (ITeS) export remittances comprising computer services and call centre services increased by over 2.4 percent during the first seven months of the current fiscal year 2022-23 and remained $1.523 billion compared with $1.488 billion during the same period of the last fiscal year.

According to the official data, on a year-on-year (YoY) basis, the sector exports remittances increase by around two per cent and remained $190 million in January 2023 compared to $186 million in January 2022. On a month-on-month basis, the sector exports remittances decreased by 23 per cent when compared to $246 million in December 2022.

The ICT export remittances, including telecommunication, computer, and information services, reached an all-time high of $ 2.618 billion, a growth rate of 47.43 per cent in the fiscal year 2021-22 compared to $ 2.108 billion in the fiscal year 2020-21.

The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication issued an official statement saying that despite persistent ease of doing business challenges and increase in the cost of doing business, ICT export remittances of $1.523 billion have been realised by the IT and ITeS Industry during the period July 2022 to January 2023 of fiscal year 2022-23.

Phenomenal trade surplus of $1.344 billion (88.25 per cent of total ICT export remittances) has been realized by the IT and ITeS Industry during the period July 2022 to January 2023 of 2022-23 to meet the foreign currency crunch faced by the country, an increase of 20.32 per cent as compared to trade surplus of $1.117 billion for the same period in 2021-22.

ICT sector exports of $1.523 billion are the highest among all Services (36.3 per cent of total export of services) with ‘Other Business Services’ trailing at $942 million, it added

Overall, the Services sector has incurred trade deficit of $301 billion during July 2022 to January 2023 of 2022-23. Whereas, ICT services has delivered a phenomenal trade surplus of $1.344 billion which is the highest among all Services with ‘Other Business Services’ trailing at $267 million.

Overall, across good and services only the textile group has higher trade surplus than the ICT sector amounting to $7.566 billion for the period July 2022 to January 2023 of 2022-23, an increase of 6.8 per cent as compared to trade surplus of $7.084 billion for the same period in 2021-22.

Federal Minister of Information Technology and Telecommunication Syed Aminul Haque has stated that the IT exports target of $5 billion would be achieved by June 2023. He further said that the government is taking all possible steps to ensure a long-term IT industry growth trajectory and enhance IT industry exports to $5 billion by 2023.

However, the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication has warned the government that on account of the non-implementation of agreed incentives, lack of consistency in policies, as well as, without resolving the tax and banks-related issues, the telecom sector exports remittances may suffer besides compromising its digital vision.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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