Rising investments in Pakistan’s technology sector show that the country has skilled entrepreneurs, said Minister of Science and Technology Shibli Faraz.
“Pakistani startups have raised around $300 million so far this year,” he said while virtually addressing the Pakistan Tech Summit in Istanbul on Monday. “The government is working to provide an environment where startups can grow and compete.”
According to the minister, startups do not exist in a vacuum and there is a need for Pakistan to make efforts and cover all aspects of the sector to realise the development journey.
Underlining the immense growth potential held by Pakistan’s technology sector, he said that the country had worked towards ease of doing business to invite investment in the sector.
He was of the view that increase in collaboration with Turkish counterparts could accelerate growth of the sector. “It will help showcase Pakistani talent at an international level and nurture the local technology ecosystem.”
Also speaking on the occasion, senior science official from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Atif Khan told event participants that the two countries needed to focus on the technology sector.
“Technology gives us the opportunity to get out of geographical boundaries and limitations,” he said. “It allows us to become a global citizen and compete in the international arena.”
The official underlined the need for offering proper training in this regard.
Pakistan’s IT exports rose 47% last year, Khan noted, adding that with 60% of the population below the age of 29 years, Pakistan should properly channelise and utilise the skills of its people.
He invited Turkish companies to invest in Pakistan’s IT sector. “Pakistan and Turkey have to collaborate. It is not an option for us ... we have to collaborate,” he said.
Turkish Deputy Minister of Information and Technology Mehmet Fatih Kacir termed collaboration between the two countries a must to create a better world.
Shedding light on Turkey’s information technology and small businesses, he said that the country’s startup segment aimed to hit a valuation of $1 billion by 2023.
Istanbul Sabahattin Zaim University Rector Mehmet Bulut said that the university was set to open its on-campus techno park next month.
Bulut said that the technology sector was a big advantage for the two countries’ younger generation and large populations.
“If we can equip them (young people) with good education, good values and modern technologies, the future belongs to our geographies,” he told the participants.
Pakistan’s Ambassador to Turkey Muhammad Syrus Sajjad Qazi said that the event would prove to be helpful in building synergies between Pakistani and Turkish technology sectors, the academia and businesses.
Representing Islamabad-based tech firm SevenSol Numan Ali Shah told Anadolu Agency that Pakistan and Turkey needed to develop a “proper tech community”.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 27th, 2021.
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