Pakistan has ambitions to rise among the ranks of offshoring destinations for outsourcing software development. Backed by a number of trade associations, the government has singled out IT as a “vital organ” of the national economy, with initiatives to encourage investment including a 15-year tax exemption on software exports.
Talent Pool & Education
This offshoring destination offers excellent talent at much lower rates than in India. However, you must be able to tolerate the risk of political disruption and have the ability to manage outsourcing engagements without visiting your programming team. Pakistani engineers can handle most programming projects, especially those using standard technology stacks of .NET and Java. Government initiatives include the Kamyab Jawan Programme, which offers jobs portals and business loans, and Punjab’s Parwaaz programme, which partners with the private sector to upskill youth.
Both Urdu and English are official languages in Pakistan, due to historical ties with Britain. English is widely spoken, and is the main language of technology and international business.
The World Bank reports that growth in Pakistan has “surprised on the upside,” supported by improving domestic demand, record-high remittance inflows, and a narrow targeting of lockdowns. Structural reforms are also expected to boost export competitiveness and enhance the financial viability of the power sector. Pakistan’s parliament passed a mid-year budget, backed by the International Monetary Fund, that aims to raise revenue and tighten spending.
Former cricket star Imran Khan, the country’s prime minister, has struggled to meet the high expectations that swept him to power in 2018. His party’s heavy defeat in recent local elections showed that he no longer enjoys wide popularity among the armed forces, according to political commentator Hamid Mir. After initially supporting the Taliban’s return to power in neighboring Afghanistan, Pakistan has suffered a series of terrorist attacks across the border. Relations with India also remain strained.