- The understanding will facilitate Pakistani companies to work in Saudi Arabia, provide trained IT manpower to Saudi firms, and promote joint ventures
Pakistan has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Saudi Arabia to work together in the field of information technology (IT), caretaker IT minister Umar Saif informed on Sunday.
The understanding will facilitate Pakistani companies to work in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), provide trained IT manpower to Saudi companies, promote joint ventures with Saudi firms, and establish a startup exchange programme with top Saudi tech incubators, the minister said.
“Strategically, we will work on establishing close cooperation to set up chip manufacturing industry in Pakistan and work on electric vehicles, lithium-ion batteries, agriculture technology, and mining technologies,” Saif wrote in a post on X, formerly Twitter.
The MoU was signed by Caretaker Federal Minister of IT and Telecom Umar Saif and Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Communications and Information Technology Abdullah A Al-Sawahah in Riyadh.
According to state-run PTV News, the agreement includes a bilateral commitment to digital economy.
“Both sides also agreed to promote the private sector apart from the government level,” the state broadcaster said.
Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Communications and IT also shared the update of the MoU signing on X.
The agreement has been signed to enhance growth of the digital economy and expand the partnership between the two countries, it said.
“Both countries will work together to accelerate digital innovation, empower entrepreneurs, and develop digital infrastructure,” the Saudi ministry added.
Special desk for Pakistani IT companies
The interim IT minister informed that he had a meeting with the Saudi Minister of Investment (MISA) H.E. Khalid al-Falih who instructed MISA to establish a special desk for Pakistani IT companies to get registered in KSA and to grant licenses (CR) to operate in the kingdom.
“Ordinarily, this process would take months and over 100,000 Riyals of consulting fees. This was the number one demand of our IT companies,” the minister wrote in a separate post on X.
This desk will also work with Pakistan’s IT industry to offer business opportunities in the public and private sector of KSA, Saif added.
The minister said he also set up meetings with the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) to explore possibility of participating in the VC fund-of-funds for Pakistani startups.