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ISLAMABAD: Ignite, a subsidiary of the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication and JazzCash, on Thursday, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) aimed at resolving the problems of Pakistani freelancers connected to the international market.

Ignite CEO Syed Junaid Imam and Mobilink Microfinance Bank President Ghazanfar Azzam signed the MoU, which was witnessed by Federal Minister for IT and Telecom, Syed Aminul Haque, Secretary IT and Telecom, Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui, and JazzCash CEO Erwan Gelebart. Under the partnership, JazzCash in collaboration with Ignite will facilitate the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecom (MOITT)'s national level training programme, Digiskills.pk.

This partnership enables DigiSkills.pk freelancers to transfer money from their Payoneer accounts into their JazzCash Mobile Account in real time, and at the best exchange rates.

In addition to this, these freelancers can also register their Payoneer Account from the JazzCash App, eliminating the need for commercial bank accounts. The agreement is aimed at helping the freelancers in receiving money from abroad.

The Mobilink Microfinance Bank will provide freelancers the facility to receive foreign exchange through their account. The Federal Minister for IT said the signing of the agreement was a moment of great joy that would help solve the problems of skilled freelancers.

The ministry is trying to achieve foreign exchange through promotion of trade through IT technology, said the federal minister. If the problems of freelancers are solved then their income will increase and the country will get foreign exchange, he added.

The federal minister further stated that the exports remittances of $1.11 billion through the Software Export Board are the best example. The target is to increase this volume to $5 billion in the next three years, said the minister, adding that increasing exports, job creation and foreign exchange gains were the top priorities.

The Ministry of Information Technology is providing various platforms for Pakistani youth to access the international market. The agreement is part of a series of initiatives to address issues related to the digital world, said Haque.

"With the current COVID-19 outbreak and the overall economic situation, it is all the more relevant that through this partnership, the youth is provided the right enablers to take up freelancing from the comfort of their homes and become self-reliant," he added.

He said that agreement would be helpful in facilitating the freelancers. This partnership between the Ministry of IT's attached department, Ignite, and JazzCash will be helpful in increasing IT exports, he added.

"We realized that international payment retrieval was a painstakingly slow process for freelancers. JazzCash saw an opportunity to use its expertise to introduce convenience and speed up the entire process for the freelance community at DigiSkills.pk," stated Erwan Gelebart, as he emphasized upon JazzCash's support for freelancers across the country. In line with its vision to promote freelancing in Pakistan, JazzCash, through this partnership, aims to complete the loop for the freelance ecosystem.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020