Pakistan Aims to Double IT Industry in Two Years With Tech Zones
New tech zones may double the IT industry to $6 billion in 2 years
Pakistan has a huge youth population, world’s No. 3 gig economy
Pakistan 🇵🇰 is looking to double its IT sector in two years by creating dedicated tech zones across the country, after losing the tech booms that have helped nations like India and the Philippines become back-end operators for the world.
The fifth most populous nation in the world plans to open a dozen such zones within the next year, said Amer Hashmi, head of the government agency responsible for developing the science and technology zones. Offers a 10-year exemption from corporation tax and imports of any construction equipment or supplies needed for the areas, which will give Pakistan’s IT industry a “catapult boost” that could double its size to $ 6 billion 💵 in two years, he said additional.
Pakistan relies on new technological zones to create jobs for its masses of young people: nearly two-thirds of its population is under the age of 30. According to Online Labor, it is already home to the third-largest concert economy in the world after India and Bangladesh, Index by Oxford Internet Institute.
A wave of foreign capital in startups, from fintech to e-commerce, which began during the coronavirus pandemic, is also creating demand for dedicated zones to serve these industries.
The initiative first emerged after Prime Minister Imran Khan sought answers at a meeting last year on why Pakistan lacked the tech boom 📊.
Drawing on his own experience as a businessman, Hashmi told the Prime Minister that the South Asian nation required a tech ecosystem or a supportive environment.
Hashmi, who quit her job at International Business Machines Corp. in Canada and returned to Pakistan 🇵🇰 to start a technology company, faced people asking for bribes and faced delays in setting up her own fiber network and own data centers. . The new areas will have no such problems and will be a plug-and-play model, he said.
“How do you get Google, Microsoft, or Amazon? You attract them and for that, you have to give special incentives, which is good, I think we would probably be the last to give in the region,” said Hashmi, now president of the Special Technology Zones Authority in an interview. “Dubai Internet City gave them. They have all the big companies. ”
Cash-strapped Pakistan 🇵🇰 has tried several times to initiate similar projects in the past. In 2006, it planned to spend $1 billion dollars 💰 building dozens of software parks, even though that attempt failed. This time around, the government’s efforts will focus on attracting global investments to ensure the project takes off.
About half a dozen global companies and 50 domestic companies have expressed interest in settling in the proposed zones, Hashmi said, adding that up to $ 1.5 billion 💰 in private investment will go into these projects over the next two years.
It is also convincing the government, which is spending millions of dollars on technology-based projects, to award more contracts to local companies. TPL Corp. is building one of these technology zones in the commercial capital Karachi.
“Pakistan cannot have a full-blown technological explosion. We don’t have the money, ”said Habibullah Khan, founder of Penumbra, a digital marketing agency that also helps startups. “The latest public-private partnership model makes a lot of sense.”
The nation’s new finance minister has also pledged to support the information technology industry, which he believes could help diversify exports and help the nation get out of its regular boom and bust cycles.
The industry can be a game-changer and will be given “anything they want,”
With the right mindset and the right information, anything can be accomplished. If you’d like to add more to this article, share your thoughts below in the comments section.