Pakistan’s services sector has strong forward and backward linkages with the major sectors of the economy such as textiles and commodities. There is significant trade in services activity in all four modes of supply in financial, construction, business services such as computer and IT, engineering services, and legal and accounting services. Information technology and related services are the most significant in terms of the scope and scale of the export markets and the extent to which these services are currently being delivered in all four modes of supply. Professional services such as legal and accounting is a promising sector. The courier services stand out in terms of scale and Internet related services distinguish themselves in terms of scope. Environmental services have significant exports in cross-border and consumption abroad in the area of environmental impact assessments. Banking services are delivered in all four modes of supply. Securities and asset management firms are also actively involved in international transactions mainly to solicit funds from foreign institutional and private investors. The insurance sector lags behind compared to the rest of the financial sector in international presence. Communication, distribution, and transport services are significant in terms of scale of services traded.
Accounting services is an important sector with significant export potential. Presently, accounting firms are providing services in three modes of supply (modes 1, 2 and 4). Accounting firms have a number of multinationals as clients in Pakistan (Mode 2) and also offer services electronically to foreign clients (Mode 1) located abroad. In addition to professional services firms, management consulting firms also have significant export potential as these firms, like accounting firms, are quite active in three modes of supply (Modes 1, 2 and 4). A number of management consulting firms are serving multilateral and international firms such as UNDP, World Bank, European Commission etc.
Currently, in the legal sector, export services are being delivered in all four modes of supply to clients in US, EU, the Middle East and the Far East. Almost all prominent legal firms in Pakistan are delivering services to multinationals and multilateral institutions in Pakistan (Mode 2) as foreign lawyers do not have a right of audience in the court in Pakistan unless they register with Pakistan Bar Council. Pakistani law firms have set up offices (Mode 3) in China and Afghanistan - both promising markets in the years to come. Lawyers have been offering advice electronically (Mode 1) to clients located abroad and also visit them frequently to deliver services (Mode 4).