Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment, Abdul Razak Dawood on Friday expressed the hope that the country’s exports in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) will cross the $ 2 billion mark in the Financial Year (FY) 2020-21.
“The ICT exports will soon become a very important sector in Pakistan’s total exports”, he said.
He stated this in a consultative meeting held at the Ministry of Commerce which also discussed Pakistan’s Global Trade in Services for the first half of the Financial Year (FY) 2020-21.
The meeting was also attended by the officials of the Ministry of Commerce (MOC), said a press release issued by Ministry of commerce here.
The Adviser was informed that during the period of July to December 2020, Pakistan’s total exports of services stood at $2.844 billion as compared to $2.835 billion, during the same period in the previous year.
He was also informed that the import of services declined by 15.7 Percent to $ 3.821 billion during July to December 2020 as compared to July to December 2019.
Abdul Razak Dawood was informed that significant growth has been seen in Insurance and Pension services which grew by 21 percent, Financial Services by 26 percent, “Telecommunication and ICT” services by 40 Percent and Other Business Services (like).
He was also informed that because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Travel and Transport Services exports were adversely affected showing negative growth of 28 percent and 18 percent respectively.
However, these sectors are likely to improve once the pandemic subsides. Razak Dawood noted with satisfaction that during the period July to December 2020, Pakistan’s services exports have finally turned around and have started to show positive growth.
He said that Services play an important role in everyday life. They have a central place in both domestic and international economies and account for the bulk of global Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and trade, he observed.
He said that Services connect countries to the international trading system by facilitating supply chains and e-commerce. He was of the view that the most significant increase in exports of Services was in “Telecommunication and ICT” services which increased by 40 percent to $958 million during July to December 2020 as compared to $684 million in the same period the previous year.
Razak Dawood noted with satisfaction that the trade balance in the Services sector has improved significantly during the first six months of the current financial year.
The trade balance stood at $ -977 million during July to December 2020 as compared to $ -1,697 million during the same period in the previous year, thereby showing an improvement of 42 percent.