Pakistan’s BoI highlights investment opportunities in IT, education – Khaleej Times

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Peter Huaggaard, managing director, Ecolean, Asia South, Middle East and Africa; Anwar Khan, CEO, Evamp and Sanga, UAE; Fareena Mazhar, secretary Board of Investment; Dr Rizwan Riaz, NUST, Pakistan; Abdul Rahim, director-general, Special Technology Zones Authority (STZA); Robert Lvoncik, Solution Architect (ME and Africa) Lenovo, UAE. — Supplied photo

Pakistan is committed to encouraging, protecting foreign investments in the country, says Fareena Mazhar

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A Staff Reporter

Published: Thu 9 Dec 2021, 6:31 PM

Last updated: Thu 9 Dec 2021, 6:32 PM

Pakistan’s Board of Investment (BoI) organised an Investment Promotion seminar in Dubai to apprise the potential foreign investors on investment policies and potential in Pakistan. The seminar theme ‘Investment Opportunities in Education and Innovation in Technologies’ 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.

Peter Huaggaard, managing director, Ecolean, Asia South, Middle East and Africa); Anwar Khan, CEO, Evamp and Sanga, UAE; Dr Rizwan Riaz, NUST, Pakistan; Abdul Rahim, director-general, Special Technology Zones Authority (STZA); Robert Lvoncik, Solution Architect (ME and Africa) Lenovo, UAE, also spoke at the seminar.

Fareena Mazhar, secretary Board of Investment 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 Modernisation Initiatives (PRMI), which is a key initiative of the Pakistani Government for the modernisation and regulation of local business through technological interventions for providing a conducive business environment in the country,” said Mazhar while informing the audience about BoI.

Mazhar apprised the audience on the information technology sector being one of the fastest-growing sectors of Pakistan, contributing around one per cent to the GDP of the country at about $3.5 billion. She added that it doubled in the past couple of years, and experts expect it to grow further at 100 per cent 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,” 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, Mazhar 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 and IT-enabled services (ITES) exports till June 2025, 100 per cent foreign ownership of IT and ITES companies, and 100 per cent repatriation of profit to foreign IT & ITES investors, she added.

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. — business@khaleejtimes.com

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