Amer Hashmi, chairman of the Special Economic Zones Authority (STZA), said that technology has the ability to boost Pakistan’s GDP, and that the incoming administration should make it easier for STZA to attract investment, technology, and jobs for individuals with technical skills.
“Pakistan has always faced ‘brain drain’,” STZA Chairman told The News. “If we provide them with similar opportunities, which they get in, for instance, Dubai, why would they leave their families then?”
Hashmi stated that 150 international investors had been approached to invest and begin operations in Pakistan.
“Many have shown interest. But it depends on the stability and law and order situation in the country,” he said.
Hashmi stated that a Google delegation led by Tim Paolini, the Google APAC lead for Cloud, visited the STZA office in Islamabad recently, along with executives from Tech Valley Pakistan.
The visiting delegates were given an overview of the Special Technology Zones being built by STZA across Pakistan, as well as the unique opportunities available.
Fiscal and monetary incentives are being offered to domestic and foreign tech enterprises in the Special Tech Zones, including a 10-year tax and duty vacation and support.
“If companies such as Google enter Pakistan with a range of products, then startups would take further boost in the country. Moreover, jobs would also be created,” Hashmi added.
STZA has expressed interest in assisting Google in expanding its existing footprint in Pakistan by collaborating on strategic technological interventions for tech zones, he said.