The information technology and IT-enabled services (ITeS) industry has received export remittances of $1.523 billion in the first seven months (Jul 2022-Jan 2023) of current financial year, an increase of 2.35% year-on-year.

In the corresponding period of last year, the industry had realised information and communication technology (ICT) export proceeds of $1.488 billion.

“IT exports grew despite the persistent ease of doing business challenges and an increase in cost of doing business,” remarked the IT ministry in a statement on Monday. In Jan 2023 alone, the ICT export remittances rose by 2.15% and reached $190 million as compared with remittances of $186 million reported for Jan 2022.

The IT ministry pointed out that a trade surplus of $1.344 billion (88.25% of the total ICT export remittances) was achieved by the IT and ITeS industry during the Jul-Jan period of FY23, which eased the foreign currency crunch faced by the country.

The trade surplus was higher by 20.32% when compared with the surplus of $1.117 billion registered in the same period of FY22.

According to data released by the ministry, the ICT sector’s exports of $1.523 billion are the highest among all services (36.3% of the total export of services) with “other business services” trailing at $942 million. Overall, the services sector registered a trade deficit of $301 million between Jul 2022 and Jan 2023.

Contrary to that, ICT services enjoyed a significant trade surplus of $1.344 billion, the highest among all services. Other business services trailed with a surplus of $267 million.

Among all goods and services, only the textile group had a higher trade surplus than the ICT sector, which amounted to $7.566 billion for the period from Jul 2022 to Jan 2023, up 6.8% from the surplus of $7.084 billion in the same period of FY22.

Total exports of the textile group stood at $10.330 billion in Jul-Jan FY23, a thin increase of 0.16% as compared to exports of $10.314 billion in the corresponding period of last year.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 21st, 2023.

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