Pakistan is among one of the top countries in Freelancing category, there are actually two sides of the picture, USA, Australia, UK, Canada and Dubai are the top employers in freelancing whereas USA, India, Ukraine, Pakistan and UK are the top services providers.
Pakistani freelancers mainly provide services in Web, Apps and Software development, designing, graphics designing, video & animation, multimedia, writing and data entry in finance & management categories.
The Punjab IT Board Chairman revealed that 150,000 Pakistani freelancers collectively generate around $1 billion. This is significantly higher for online freelancers as there is not much support by the government.
But with the help of Punjab Government, PIBT has took an initiative to open up e-rozgar training centers throughout Punjab in order to accommodate, facilitate and train people so they can become online freelancers. Still there are many constraints in letting these centers show some productivity.
The concept of shared economy emerged since globalization and global economy started, and internet served as the last dart thrown on the board. The growth of internet, online apps, websites, payment systems, e-commerce and information has changed the way people used to do business. Buying and selling of goods also changing rapidly.
When people generate revenues online and contribute to the economy it becomes shared economy. For instance, Freelancer.com is an American based company which operates online, freelancers make money through this website, nevertheless the operating company is in United States and contributes towards US economy, other freelancers get paid through this website and save their earnings in their local banks. The flow of cash from one place to another on the internet makes it shared economy.
Freelancers in Pakistan are growing and they contribute towards Pakistan’s economy more than any other industry comparatively, without fewer resources, financing and government support, they are flourishing on their own.
Secured Payment Systems
One obstacle in freelancing industry in Pakistan is secure online payment system. Paypal is not in Pakistan and Paypal is the most prominent payment method in e-commerce, due to this many freelancers are not able to take payments directly from customers hence, losing lot of opportunities and revenue. E-rozgar centers are just fine but government should focus more on bringing companies like Paypal, Ebay, Amazon in Pakistan or else they can focus on developing local payment systems that could collaborate with international payment systems in real time.
Government should also facilitate emerging freelancers and provide them funding which could lead to new jobs creation. Government should also encourage SME’s in ICT and free them from taxes.