KARACHI: Pakistan’s largest Information Technology (IT) Park project successfully lauched by federal Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication (MOITT) Syed Aminul Haque on Monday laid a foundation stone in Pakistan
The IT Park project aims to become a gateway for innovation in Pakistan and hopes to be complete by 2026, costing approximately Rs42 billion.
During the launch ceremony, Haque said that after completion, the project will employ over 20,000 IT professionals, promote business opportunities and boost the economy.
The project, titled “Establishment of IT Park, Karachi”, was approved by the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC), in its meeting held on June 4, 2021, at a capital cost of Rs41.39 billion ($186.658 million), including a Rs35.13 billion ($158.416 million) loan from the Korean Exim Bank and a local share of Rs6.25 billion ($28.242 million) from the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP), said the minister.
“The purpose of these parks is to provide a place where innovative businesses can develop and prosper. Most software technology/IT parks provide ample space for business development. Governments all over the world often invest in these technology parks to boost their regional and national economies,” he elaborated.
The top three benefits of technology parks are to firstly, boost knowledge-based economy, second encourage entrepreneurship and thirdly, to develop the latest technologies in the region, he added.
IT professionals and stakeholders lauded the initiative, adding that it will not only benefit the people of Karachi, or Pakistan, but the entire region.
Speaking to the Express Tribune, Si Global’s CEO Noman Ahmed lauded the move saying, “It is a great news that Karachi is finally getting an IT Park – the rest of the provinces have already started working on similar spaces and hence it will prove to be a great opportunity for technological exploration in the region.”
“Karachi is already superior in technological prowess, and developing an IT park here will prove even more beneficial and generate more revenue,” he said, adding that “Exports have already increased in this sector and its performance speaks for itself.”
Pointing out the importance of building a relevant ecosystem, ABCore CEO Khurram Schehzad said, “Although brick and mortar are not roadblocks to technological development and digitisation, however, it depends on how well the piece of land is utilised to create an ecosystem that offers timely incentives and creates technological hubs, not only for tech businesses but for all Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).”
“In global tech parks, similar firms are located in close proximity to foster an environment of collaboration, eventually resulting in the expansion of overall industrial activity,” observed Waqas Ghani Kukaswadia, ICT analyst at JS Global.
“Pakistan’s digital entrepreneurial environment is still in its infancy, thus cooperation for technical advancement and innovation is crucial if Pakistan is to compete on a global scale,” added Kukaswadia.