Now Reading: Pakistan’s 2nd Software Technology Park Inaugurated in Islamabad
In a time frame of less than just three months, a second software technology park has been inaugurated in Islamabad after the first one i.e. the Gilgit STP that was set up in collaboration with Special Communications Organization (SCO) was inaugurated in October last year. Now, the Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB) – a department under the Ministry of IT & Telecommunication – has inaugurated the Fazal Software Technology Park on Thursday.
What is looking like it will be a great example of cooperation between the public and private sectors and 10 IT companies, the Fazal Software Technology Park occupies a whopping 40,000 square feet of space. In the inauguration ceremony for the part, the Federal Minister for IT & Telecom, Syed Amin Ul Haque, said that the current government’s first priority is to uplift the country’s IT industry.
He added that the government has been working hard and diligently to improve the condition of Pakistan’s economy, along with creating employment opportunities and uplifting the overall quality of life in the country. The minister assured that the industry is being given strong support and extremely attractive incentives by the government support and that there are several projects in place that are intended to facilitate and assist the IT industry in its growth trajectory.
The IT minister further went on to say that in order to ensure continued upward momentum in local and export earnings, the government is prioritizing the development of Special Economic Zones and Special Technology Zones and is promoting indigenization for reducing the country’s long over-due continued reliance on imported products and instead, boost its exports.
While talking to the attendees in the inauguration ceremony, he informed them that for Special Technology Zones, the Ministry of IT has also rolled out strong incentives, which includes a 10-year exemption from income tax, property tax, various other taxes and customs duties.
As per him, aside from all this, the government is also giving them another 10-year exemption on dividend income and long-term capital gains from investment along with exemption from GST on goods and services for consumption within zones. Haque stated,
“Pakistanis can rightly be proud of the fact that Pakistani IT companies are providing products and services to the world’s largest companies. State of the artwork on the latest technologies such as AI, Robotics, and Driverless cars is being conducted in Pakistan and large IT companies, including US companies have set up R&D centers in Pakistan.”
Furthermore, it was revealed by the IT Minister that he and his team came up with the idea of putting the industrial facilities of the inoperative private sector to use after the fact of there being a strong demand for STPs in the country. This was due to its currently booming IT industry, and hence there was a need to find a faster way to deliver to this growing industry.
The chief guest of the inauguration ceremony, attended by the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) President and senior officials from the ministries of ICCT and PSEB, was Secretary IT – Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui. As such, while addressing the ceremony, the chief guest stated that the inauguration of the park was evidence of the aggressive work that was conducted on an express basis on the Federal Minister’s directives.
He hinted at more good news being on the way, as far as the conversion of unused buildings into state-of-the-art STPs is concerned at least. As per the Secretory IT, work is well underway towards development of Software Technology Parks in the Universities. Siddiqui also praised the IT Industry professionals and entrepreneurs for making Pakistan’s ICT Industry a success and having a stellar remittance inflow growth rate, making it the largest net exporter in the services sector.
Finally, he stressed the need for the close relationship between the IT industry and public sector entities for ensuring that the growth of Pakistan’s IT sector continues on this positive trend. Osman Nasir – PSEB’s Managing Director – said that in the underserved and underdeveloped parts of the country, the PSEB registration fee for IT & ITeS companies, including call centers, and IT startups have been completely waived off.
This great move is done in order to boost the growth of the IT industry further as well as contribute to its organic growth across Pakistan. It is also important to note here that Gilgit STP i.e. the first software tech part has been a roaring success so far. Initially, 73 IT professionals occupied the building, who then further trained and mentored IT graduates, including females, for a total of 150 IT Professionals now, ergo greatly expanding the IT industry’s scope in Gilgit.
Hopefully, the Fazal Software Technology Park will serve the same role!