Pakistan Comes in as World’s 4th Fastest Growing Freelance Market

Dr Umar Saif, ex-Punjab IT Board (PITB) head says he was met by skepticism when putting together the e-rozgaar program which aims to skill up youth enabling them to freelance. Payoneer has identified Pakistan as the fourth fastest growing freelance market and no doubt e-rozgaar had a part to play in that. Let’s take a deep dive into the report by Payoneer for more information.

About Payoneer

Payoneer is a leading cross-border payment platform designed to help freelancers in getting paid. They boast over 4 million users in 200 countries who are using over 150 currencies.

Top 10 Countries

  1. USA – 78% growth
  2. UK – 59% growth
  3. Brazil – 48% growth
  4. Pakistan – 47% growth
  5. Ukraine – 36% growth
  6. Phillipines – 35% growth
  7. India – 29% growth
  8. Bangladesh – 27% growth
  9. Russia – 20% growth
  10. Serbia – 19% growth

Interesting Tidbits

  • The 35-44 age group was the highest earning age group
  • Freelancers in Asia have more than doubled their earning compared to the same time last year
  • Technical training provided by the Government in Ukraine has helped them come in at 5th place
  • Indian freelancers are now outsourcing to other lower income countries like Bangladesh similar to how the UK/US markets outsourced to India in recent times.

Pakistan’s Explosive Growth

Compared to the same time last year, there has been a 42% increase in Pakistani Freelancers. The report states that 70% of the newcomers are under the age of 30. Mohsin Muzaffar, head of Pakistani Business Development for Payoneer notes :

“Government investment in enhancing digital skills has helped create a skilled freelancer workforce, while blanket 4g coverage across Pakistan has given freelancers unprecedented access to international jobs.”

Asia Dominates Growth

Asia, by far, lead the growth race for the freelancer market. Pakistan along with the Philippines, India, and Bangladesh collectively recorded 138% increase from the same period last year. The reason for the success? The report suggests the common denominator being an increased investment in technical education by these nations. Miguel Warren, Regional Manager South-East Asia, Payoneer adds:

“Local governments know that education is the key to thriving in the 21st century global marketplace. In the Philippines, for example, the Department of Information and Communications Technology provides technical training in rural areas throughout the country.”

The report endorses programs like e-rozgaar by PITB to be one of the reasons for the growth seen in Pakistan and South-East Asia.


35-44 year olds were the most profitable age group coming in with 32% of earnings whilst representing 23% of the freelancers. Compare this with the 18-34 year old age group who comprised 64% of the freelancers whilst profits were only at 53%. Trends show some reasons for this:

  • Portfolios – companies will pay extra to freelancers who can show previous experience and examples
  • Reviews – a good amount of reviews will help portfolios be noticed by hirers
  • Thinking globally – experienced freelancers have adapted to worldwide trends expanding the possibility of selling their services

Final Thoughts

It’s heartening to see Pakistan growing in the freelance market coming in at 4th place, only 1% under Brazil at 3rd place. Hopefully another 12 months will help push us to 2nd or 3rd place. The efforts by the government and technical institutions have to be applauded as they play a major role in the success seen. Other nations know the key is to focus their energies on training individuals for the worldwide market and are also working hard on the same things. The future, though challenging, will be beneficial for the overall market growth.

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