- Special technology zone has been established under Lahore Knowledge Park Company
Inaugurating Technopolis, a Special Technology Zone (STZ) in Lahore on Thursday, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that the technology industry could end Pakistan's current account deficit woes.
“Technology sector could alone end Pakistan’s entire current account deficit,” said Khan in his address.
The special technology zone has been established under Lahore Knowledge Park Company, as the government aims to boost the country’s exports in the technology sector.
“Technology is the future of the world,” said the prime minister, adding that the turnover of companies including Apple and Google runs into trillions of dollars.
“As the world battled the effects of Covid-19 pandemic, tech companies were registering exponential growth in profits. Unfortunately, Pakistan is far behind in the field of technology despite having a young population,” he said.
“We can accelerate our growth through the IT revolution,” he added.
The PM said that IT exports of neighbouring India stand at $150 billion, whereas Pakistan's IT exports currently stand at $2 billion, despite improving by 70% on a yearly basis.
Khan said that the reason behind the development of these technology parks is to provide incentives to the IT sector in the form of tax breaks and improve ease of doing business. “We want to attract our IT firms and professionals working abroad so that they can invest in Pakistan,” the prime minister said.
“This would not only generate employment opportunities for the youth, especially for the female labour force but would also help us in enhancing our exports,” Khan said.
Pakistan’s IT sector has witnessed considerable growth in recent years, with the government enlisting the industry in its priority sectors, identified under the Strategic Trade Policy Framework (STPF) 2020-25, that seeks to enhance the country's export base.
The country’s ICT export remittances, including telecommunication and information services for the period July-November fiscal year 2021-22, surged to $1.051 billion at a growth rate of 37.57% compared to $764 million during July-November fiscal year 2020-21, revealed data released by the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication.
“Unfortunately, we have not paid attention to improving our export base,” the PM said.
The prime minister said that the country can only escape from the constant boom and bust cycles by focusing on exports. “Until our exports do not grow, there cannot be wealth creation in the country,” said PM.
Talking about rising inflation rate, PM Imran said that the country is facing imported inflation amid rise in prices in international markets. “Things like edible oil can be produced here,” he said.
Pakistan's economy constantly battles a widening current account deficit amid rising imports and a decline in remittance flows. However, the government believes that the IT sector could be the solution to end Pakistan economic woes.