After independence, Pakistan mostly relied on textile, leather, sports, carpet and agriculture industry. The ICT infrastructure is mostly dependent on its import of ICT equipments. Pakistan is not an IT manufacturer or services contractor country, but does stand among the leading countries in the world for software development. Numerous foreign entities and Fortune 500 companies outsource their software development programs to Pakistan.
Almost every business from banks to FMCG, ISPs to data centres, manufacturing units to e-commerce need ICT support for their operations and they are dependent on imports.
Pakistan is one of the most complicated countries when it comes to importing ICT equipments. After the regulation of FATA (Financial Action Task Force), Pakistan has been put into grey list which makes it barely impossible to import Free of cost equipment without a commercial transition or FOC approval by the State bank of Pakistan.
- All imports into Pakistan are subject to an EIF approval (electronic import Form). Goods cannot be cleared in customs until EIF is not approved.
- EIF is an import form which is approved by the State Bank of Pakistan on the credibility of an IOR, but unfortunately SBP does not allow FOC import in Pakistan without providing proper documentation. Dor instance, Services & WR (Warranty replacement) contracts, payment proof, Security Bound etc.