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HYDERABAD: Ministry of IT & Telecommunication is launching its 7th National Incubation Center (NIC) here by summer this year. Minister for Information Technology & Telecommunication (MoITT) Syed Amin Ul Haque was the chief guest at the contract signing ceremony in this regard here Monday.

The agreement was signed by Ignite CEO Asim Shehryar Husain and Vice Chancellor, University of Sindh Jamshoro Hyderabad, Dr. Muhammad Siddique Kalhoro. The ceremony was attended by MQM Member National Assembly Engineer Sabir Hussain Qaimkhani, Federal Secretary for IT & Telecom, Dr. Muhammad Sohail Rajput, officials from IT Ministry, Ignite, University of Sindh, Academia, Business communities and others personalities from to IT Industries.

Speaking on the occasion, Amin Ul Haque said the Ministry of IT & Telecom through its organization Ignite-National Technology Fund has already established five NICs, one each at Islamabad, Karachi, Quetta, Lahore & Peshawar while the 6th NIC is being established in Faisalabad which will focus the agri-tech. In accordance with the government’s vision for digital Pakistan and provision of an enabling environment for potential entrepreneurs, more NICs are being established in 2nd tier cities and incubators in Health-Tech, Gaming & Animation and Electronics.

Therefore, to move forward, National Incubation Center (NIC) is being established at Hyderabad to improve the effectiveness of variety of industries including agriculture, livestock, ornamental industrial products, textile, sugar, cement, etc, located at Hyderabad & its adjacent areas.

“Establishment of National Incubation Center at Hyderabad (13,000 sq feet area) has become a dire need for youth of Hyderabad and its surrounding rural & urban areas to transform traditional business approach into an innovative tech-oriented form,” Haque said.

Amin said that the World Economic Forum’s global crises report 2021, the World could face many risks & threats pertaining to price instability, debt crises, commodity shocks, digital power concentration & digital inequality. The good news is that Pakistan achieved a decent economic growth in 2021 despite those risks. This is due to the effective implementation of government policies and vision of the present government for prosperous Pakistan.

“During the outgoing year, an increase was observed not only in the yield of major crops but also in IT &ITeS exports. The IT sector of Pakistan is contributing almost 1% of the GDP or almost around US $ 3.5 billion,” he added.

Syed Amin Ul Haque further stated that, Federal Ministry of IT & Telecom has been providing an enabling environment for all stakeholders of startup ecosystem to promote startup culture & attract foreign investments. Moreover, State Bank of Pakistan and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan have also relaxed rules for attracting investment in technology-based business solutions.

“As a result of these steps, investments in Pakistani startups have been at skyrocketing during 2021 and almost US $ 373 million have been raised by Pakistani startup, which is almost 5 times higher than last year’s investment of US $ 75 million.

Minister IT congratulated Secretary IT & Telecom and CEO Ignite to sign the agreement with University of Sindh for provision of space at Elsa Kazi Campus for establishment of National Incubation Center, Hyderabad. He also congratulates Vice Chancellor, University of Sindh in entering an agreement with Ignite for establishment of NIC-Hyderabad.

Federal Secretary for IT & Telecom, Dr. Muhammad Sohail Rajput, congratulated Ignite and University of Sindh Hyderabad on signing the agreement and hoped that this partnership will be the beginning of a successful journey for the startups of Hyderabad. He said that there is an enormous potential in our youth and we are leveraging an enabling environment so that they can contribute towards national economy.

Earlier in his address of welcome, the CEO Ignite stated that Hyderabad has always maintained its identity in all walks of life despite being the closest district near Karachi and is the agricultural hub of Sindh.

Hence the city will maintain the same identity while having its own National Incubation Center.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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