Pakistan’s vision: $10 billion tech exports and better opportunities for freelancers

Freelancers Pakistan

WEB DESK: The Federal IT and Telecommunications Minister, Dr Umar Saif, is spearheading an ambitious plan to transform Pakistan into a thriving tech export hub.

The strategy aims to generate $10 billion in annual tech exports by empowering one million freelancers to earn $30 daily. The government plans to provide funding and co-working spaces within the next two to three months.

In a significant development, Pakistan is currently in discussions with the digital payment giant PayPal to integrate its services with the country’s banking system.

This integration would streamline export proceeds for IT professionals. Additionally, the interim government has set an aggressive target to launch advanced mobile internet (5G) by June–July 2024.

Government officials are working on this project, with preparations for the 5G auction process underway for the newly elected government.

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Recent government measures now allow IT professionals and freelancers to retain up to 50 per cent of their earnings in foreign currency accounts within Pakistan. Saif emphasised the government’s support for venture capital firms engaging with the Pakistan Startup Fund, offering a 20 per cent risk underwriting or potential upside for venture deals.

Deputy Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Saleem Ullah, highlighted the potential of IT developments as a game-changer for economic growth. He stressed the significance of the IT sector in boosting Pakistan’s balance of payments and encouraged IT companies to reduce imports of IT products to curb the import bill.

These strategic efforts underscore Pakistan’s determination to become a global tech powerhouse by fostering innovation and facilitating seamless international transactions.

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