Pakistan’s Board of Investment in a Dubai seminar highlights investment opportunities in country’s IT and education sectors
Pakistan is committed to encouraging, protecting foreign investments in the country, says Fareena Mazhar
Dubai: Pakistan’s Board of Investment (BoI) organized an Investment Promotion seminar in Dubai to apprise the potential foreign investors on investment policies and potential in Pakistan.
The seminar’s theme was Investment Opportunities in Education and Innovation in Technologies, and it was held in the Pakistan Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai.
Many foreign investors and overseas Pakistanis attended the seminar through physical participation. Due to travel restrictions because of the pandemic, arrangements were also made for the participants to attend the seminar on zoom.
The participants expressed interest in the existing opportunities in Pakistan and the policies by the Government to attract investment in the emerging technologies.
Mr. Peter Huaggaard, Managing Director, Ecolean, Asia South, Middle East and Africa); Mr. Anwar Khan, CEO, Evamp and Sanga, UAE; Dr. Rizwan Riaz, NUST, Pakistan; Mr. Abdul Rahim, Director General, Special Technology Zones Authority (STZA); Mr. Robert Lvoncik, Solution Architect (ME and Africa) Lenovo, UAE; also spoke at the seminar.
Ms. Fareena Mazhar informed the audience that there are 22 approved Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in Pakistan, and four of them have state-of-the-art facilities and business ecosystems ready for investment as Early Harvest projects.
“Board of Investment, as the premier investment promotion agency of Pakistan, is leading the Pakistan Regulatory Modernization Initiatives (PRMI), which is a key initiative of the Pakistani Government for the modernization and regulation of local business through technological interventions for providing a conducive business environment in the country,” said Ms. Mazhar while informing the audience about BoI.
The Secretary apprised the audience on the Information Technology sector being one of the fastest-growing sectors of Pakistan, contributing around 1% to the GDP of the country at about 3.5 billion USD. She added that it doubled in the past couple of years, and experts expect it to grow further at 100% in the next two to four years to $7 billion.
“Pakistan’s IT market is full of qualified people who are equipped to cater for the needs of the market at relatively low costs,” said Ms. Mazhar. Further elaborating on freelance development, she shared that the country has been ranked at number four for freelance development globally, and digital growth in Pakistan is going through a rapid evolution.
The Secretary also informed that Pakistan developed its first National Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy in 2012 and innovation, ever since, has been properly documented as being a long-term strategy for driving economic growth by the Government of Pakistan.
Highlighting the digital landscape of Pakistan, Ms. Fareena shared that according to US Technology Giant, GOOGLE, Pakistan is becoming a ‘DIGITAL-FIRST COUNTRY” and paving new opportunities for businesses to engage with consumers digitally. In terms of incentives, Pakistan offers zero Income Tax on IT & IT-enabled services (ITES) exports till June 2025, 100% foreign ownership of IT & ITES companies, and 100% repatriation of profit to foreign IT & ITES investors, she added.
Ms. Fareena Mazhar presented opportunities and incentives offered by the Government of Pakistan in the priority sectors of Pakistan, including Information Technology, Automotive, Logistics and Food processing etc. The Secretary, BoI, stated that economic uplift of the country is an area of priority by the incumbent Government and Pakistan, under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan, is undergoing bold economic reforms which have increased the confidence of the business community and helped the country improve in all sectors of the economy.
The Secretary concluded by stating that there are numerous multinational companies currently operating in Pakistan, and the Government of Pakistan is committed to protecting and encouraging foreign investments. She assured that the Government of Pakistan is committed to protecting and encouraging foreign investments and assured the audience that the Board of Investment will facilitate the investors and help them execute their investments.
Photo Caption: (L-R) Mr. Peter Huaggaard, Managing Director, Ecolean, Asia South, Middle East and Africa); Mr. Anwar Khan, CEO, Evamp and Sanga, UAE; Fareena Mazhar, Secretary Board of Investment; Dr. Rizwan Riaz, NUST, Pakistan; Mr. Abdul Rahim, Director General, Special Technology Zones Authority (STZA); Mr. Robert Lvoncik, Solution Architect (ME and Africa) Lenovo, UAE.