Good news for Pakistani freelancers! The government has finally addressed a long-standing demand by enabling them to receive international payments through PayPal, a prominent online payment gateway. Caretaker Federal Minister made this announcement for Information Technology and Telecommunication Dr Umar Saif, who revealed a slew of digital initiatives aimed at making Pakistan a “Tech Destination.”
While PayPal won’t be directly operating in Pakistan, an agreement has been reached to channel remittances through a third-party intermediary. This means freelancers can now receive payments from international clients via PayPal, offering them a convenient and widely recognized platform. The official launch of this service is scheduled for January 11th.
The minister also highlighted efforts to boost IT and telecom sector exports. He acknowledged that official export figures stand at $2.6 billion, closer to $5 billion. This discrepancy arises because many IT companies maintain offshore accounts to pay international employees and cover cloud hosting, marketing, and sales expenses on platforms like Google, Amazon, and LinkedIn.

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To address this, the government, in collaboration with the Securities and Investment Corporations of Pakistan (SIFC) and the State Bank, has implemented a fundamental policy change. IT companies can now retain 50% of their export earnings in dollar-denominated accounts within Pakistan. This allows them to make international expenses from this pool freely, removing previous restrictions. As a result, Dr Saif reports that IT companies are repatriating their foreign earnings, leading to a 13% surge in export revenue within one month.
These initiatives represent a significant step forward for Pakistan’s tech sector and freelance community. The government is paving the way for a more vibrant and sustainable digital economy by facilitating international payments and streamlining export procedures. This will surely be welcomed by freelancers and IT companies alike, who can now tap into new opportunities and contribute more effectively to Pakistan’s economic growth.

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