WASHINGTON: The Pakistani government is taking steps to create a hospitable environment for tech industry and now the time is ripe for strengthening tech bonds between Pakistan and the United States, Ambassador Masood Khan has said.
“The US is ready to help and we are ready to join the IT revolution by integrating and absorbing innovations in US technologies,” he told Pakistan Tech Summit 2022 in Silicon Valley, about 40 miles southeast of the US city of San Francisco, California.
The Pakistani envoy said that the Summit provides business leaders, tech entrepreneurs and technology experts from Pakistan a platform to come together and form synergies, build bridges between Silicon Valley and the Pakistani startup ecosystem and join hands for a bright future of Pakistan.
“You are already on a roll”, he said.
Ambassador Masood Khan observed that more than 64% population of Pakistan is below the age of 30 years and a growing middle class was expected to cross the 100 million mark soon. This youth bulge combined with the growing middle class promised bright prospects for the growth of IT sector in the country.
In the past 18 months, he said, tech startups in Pakistan have earned half a billion dollars mainly supported from the United States, and he said that the sector was poised to generate tens of billions of dollars within the current decade.
Ambassador Khan said that the Government of Pakistan will continue to take steps to create a hospitable environment for tech industry. He said that regulations were being made business friendly, ease of doing business was a priority and incentives were being given to venture capitalists.
Recounting various incentives being offered to promote tech sector, the Ambassador said that investors were being facilitated to repatriate their funds; legislation was afoot on data protection and issues related to intellectual property were being addressed.
“We are planning to open a consulate general in the Bay Area to link Silicon Valley with Pakistan to spur and support growth of startups in Pakistan”, the Ambassador added.
He encouraged participants to share the outcome of their deliberations during the summit and to identify the areas where the government and embassy’s intercession could help.
Ambassador Khan congratulated Arzish Azam, Founder & CEO of Ejad Labs for organizing 4th Pakistan Tech Summit 2022. The summit was hosted in collaboration with private and public sector partners. The speakers included Aatif Awan, Founder & Managing Partner Indus Valley Capital, Ali Mahmud, MD Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Technology Board – KPITB, Qasar Younis, CEO Applied Intuition / Former COO Y Combinator, Ms Huma Hamid, Co-founder & Former President Pakistani Women in Computing (PWIC), Ms Novaira Masood, President Pakistani Women in Computing (PWIC), Noman Azhar, Chief Digital Officer JS Bank and Head of Zindigi and others.