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ISLAMABAD: Special Technology Zones Authority (STZA) is building a world-class technology ecosystem in Pakistan to enable the small, medium and large scale tech organisations to become part of the global innovation and connected marketplace.

This was stated by Chairman STZA Amer Hashmi while addressing the Freelance Fest 2022 organised by the Pakistan Freelancers Association (PAFLA) on Tuesday.

According to the World Labor Organization (WLO), Pakistan is rapidly emerging as a major source of digital labour for the global freelancing market. The country ranks as the third largest source of digital labour globally, a trend made possible by the burgeoning freelancing community in Pakistan.

At the fest, Hashmi gave a strategic overview of the global innovation and technology ecosystem. He encouraged the young Pakistani freelancers to accelerate their efforts and pledged STZA’s resolute support to enable and empower the freelancing community across the country.

Despite enormous regulatory, infrastructure and financial challenges, the young Pakistani freelancers have demonstrated their prowess to disrupt the global freelancing trends in Pakistan’s favour, Hashmi added.

Javaid Iqbal, Chief Commercial Officer of STZA while speaking at the forum stated that the freelancers were a critical part of the innovation and technology ecosystem in Pakistan. He said that the freelancers were not only increasing Pakistan’s brand capital but also earning foreign exchange for the country and transforming the gig economy by identifying global market requirements.

He called on the young freelancers to challenge barriers and accelerate their efforts, stating that they were living in a transformational era of a globally connected marketplace with infinite possibilities.

Abdul Rahim Ahmad, Chief Information Officer of STZA called for the development of a centralised, verified repository of freelancers in Pakistan. He stated that the regulatory support for the freelancers from the government and financial sector was necessary. Acknowledging the challenges faced by the Pakistani freelancers, Rahim called for developing mechanisms for making it easy to open bank accounts, increasing high-speed internet coverage and availability of training and mentorship for the freelancers in Pakistan.

The STZA delegation later met the leaders from the financial industry, academia, PAFLA, state regulators and renowned freelancers at the event, and agreed to develop close cooperation and synergies, with a mission to remove barriers and enable the Pakistani freelancers to become globally competitive. These linkages are likely to open new doors of cooperation between the government, private sector, and freelancing community in the future.

The chairman STZA thanked the PAFLA for organising an event which brought industry leaders, government regulators and young freelancers on one platform.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022


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