ISLAMABAD: The export of services grew nearly eight per cent in July, the first month of the current fiscal year, mainly driven by IT proceeds.

In absolute terms, the value of export of services reached $530 million in July from $491m a year ago, according to the latest data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics.

On a month-on-month basis, the export of services dipped by 16.51pc in July.

The export of services grew 17.20pc to $6.968bn between July-June 2021-22 from $5.945bn in the preceding year.

The government has projected $10bn for the services sector and a $35bn merchandise export target for 2022-23.

The highest-ever growth in IT-related services pushed up the overall export figure. Services exports also include finance and insurance, transport and storage, wholesale and retail trade, public administration and defence sectors.

For promoting IT exports, the Pakistan Software Board has created an entire IT Export Strategical Framework and is executing different programmes and schemes accordingly through a series of projects in infrastructure development, human capital development, company capability development, global marketing, strategy and research, and promotion of innovation and technologies.

The services sector has emerged as the main economic growth driver by contributing 61pc to GDP in 2020-21 from 56pc in 2005-06.

The import of services posted a meagre growth of 1.53pc to $789.93m in July against $778.05m over the corresponding month of last year. On a month-on-month basis, imports plunged by 40.02pc in July.

In the previous fiscal year, the import of services rose 43.52pc to $12.143bn against $8.461bn in the corresponding months last year.

The trade deficit in services declined by 9.48pc to $259.86m in July against $287.06m in the corresponding month last year. In FY22, the gap widened by 105.73pc to $5.175bn against $2.515bn in FY21.

Published in Dawn, September 4th, 2022

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