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Working in Pakistan?

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Adam Malewski

Living in Pakistan, from Poland

"It is fun to get involved in this expat community with so many great and helpful people. Settling in Pakistan was much easier than we expected."

Birgit Meißner

Living in Pakistan, from Germany

"I love InterNations because it made finding new acquaintances here in Lahore so easy. Thanks!"

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Pakistan at a Glance

Working in Pakistan

With a wealth of developing industries, sectors such as cotton processing, rice production, food processing, pharmaceuticals, and construction all offer great opportunities for employment in Pakistan. You can read more about the economy, taxation and job market in our Expat Guide.

Finding a vacancy with an international company is often the best way for expats to secure a career in Pakistan, as there is rising competition from their growing pool of domestic graduates. Pakistan’s national languages are English and Urdu; fluency in both sets applicants apart from their competition. 

Economic Overview

Set at the center of South Asia, China, Central Asia and the Middle East, Pakistan’s economy is ideally placed for trading. The diverse, expanding population and numerous resources point towards plenty of potential for growth. Figures taken from the World Bank in 2011–2012 saw an estimated 3.7% growth, with the exports industry looking particularly strong.

The latest figures confirmed that Pakistan’s GDP for 2013 was 236.6 billion USD, which is steadily growing, but struggling to keep up with the escalating population. Manufacturing and agriculture both play key roles in sustaining this emerging semi-industrialized nation.

Taxation in Pakistan

Introduced with the Income Tax Ordinance of 2001, Pakistan’s current taxation laws have been effective since 2002. However, OECD reports released in 2013 indicate that only 0.57% of the population currently pays tax. The top rates of tax are 20% for salaried taxpayers and 25% for non-salaried taxpayers. The highest rate of taxation applies to anyone on an income that exceeds 2,500,000 PKR. 

The tax system is fairly complicated and is administered by over 37 government agencies. Income tax can vary greatly between expatriates, as there are over 70 taxes to be aware of. The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has an in-depth guide that is essential reading on their website. 

Job Hunting in Pakistan

Meeting and developing contacts is an essential part of job hunting in Pakistan. Companies such as Allied Bank, Colgate-Palmolive, GlaxoSmithKline, IBM, Procter & Gamble, Shell, Siemens and Unilever all have bases in Pakistan, so working abroad here can often be achieved if you are seconded. The textile industry is particularly booming, seeing significant growth over the past few years. 

The success of a job hunt in Pakistan can vary greatly, depending on the position and salary sought. Multinational companies and government positions, for example, will usually use an online application process, which may include testing for essential skills such as mathematics and English. This will often be followed up at an assessment center and through rigorous interviews. 

There are several ways to find available job vacancies in Pakistan, searching the internet or a local newspaper is an effective place to start. The Business Recorder, the Dawn, the Nation, and the News International Pakistan all have classified sections, which are regularly updated with managerial, financial, and healthcare positions, to name but a few. 

With a flourishing population of students, work is particularly plentiful for English teachers in Pakistan, which can offer a rewarding vocation for anyone holding a recognized TEFL qualification. On sites such as HigherEdJobs expatriates-to-be looking for PhD, postdoctoral, research and lecturing roles at Pakistan’s universities may be in luck. More general job sites to check out include Rozee and BrightSprye.

InterNations Expat Magazine