Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood on Friday expressed hope that the country’s exports in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) will cross the $2 billion mark in the ongoing financial year.

Addressing a consultative meeting at the Ministry of Commerce, Dawood said, “The ICT exports will soon become a very important sector in Pakistan’s total exports.”

The meeting also discussed Pakistan’s global trade in services for the first half of financial year 2020-21.

The adviser was informed that during the July to December 2020 period, 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% to $3.821 billion during July to December 2020 as compared to the same period of 2019.

Dawood was told that significant growth has been seen in insurance and pension services, which grew by 21%, financial services by 26%, telecommunication and ICT services by 40%. Dawood noted with satisfaction that during the six-month period, 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 as 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 was of the view that services connect countries to the international trading system by facilitating supply chains and e-commerce.

The commerce adviser said that in order to increase the services exports of Pakistan, new markets have to be found for our exports of services. He also advised the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) to focus on export promotion of services.

He was of the view that market access and export promotion of services has to go hand-in-hand in a synchronised manner.

In this regard, Dawood advised the ministry and TDAP to make all-out efforts to facilitate export of ICT services.