Govt is providing special incentives for tech parks

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB) is facilitating the information technology industry by establishing public and private sector software technology parks (STPs), and offering 25% rental subsidy for office space, and free of cost internet for one year, WealthPK reported.
The PSEB is presently managing 27 STPs in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad/Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Sialkot, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Abbottabad, Swat, Bannu, Mansehra, Quetta, Hyderabad, Jamshoro, and Gilgit where more than 1.3 million sq. ft of IT-enabled office space has been provisioned for more than 170 IT firms engaged in consulting, software development, BPO (business process outsourcing) and other IT services.
According to a senior official of the PSEB, the Ministry of Information Technology has set a target to establish 18 more technology parks by the end of December 2022, aiming at providing space, related facilities, and services to IT sector companies.
“Presently, 22 software technology parks are operational in small cities and we have set a target of taking its number to up to 40 by December 2022,” the official said.
He said the purpose of establishing software technology parks in existing building facilities in secondary and tertiary cities of Pakistan as well as Karachi, Lahore, and Islamabad, is to ensure the availability of cost-effective, affordable office space and reliable information communication technology (ICT) infrastructure with uninterrupted internet services and electric power supply for IT SME’s and startups.
He said that the facility is part of the government strategy to develop IT zones and software parks besides setting up purpose-built software technology parks in major cities of the country. These IT zones, software, and technology parks would help promote efficient and cost-effective collaboration, digitalization, research and development entrepreneurship, and innovation to meet the needs of the modern era.
According to the PSEB official, the federal government was focusing on increasing the growth of the IT sector to enhance exports. He said it was contrary to the past practices when excessive reliance was placed on exports from traditional sectors like textile.
“The setting up of IT parks will not only give a fresh impetus to the IT sector, but it will also provide job opportunities to the people,” he added.
The official said that Pakistan’s IT companies were providing services to world institutions in over 120 countries. He said Pakistan’s IT industry was rapidly progressing and the number of IT experts is also increasing.
“These STPs will not only promote academia and industry linkages, but also bridge gaps in technology and infrastructure access in secondary and tertiary cities, helping in boosting IT exports,” he said.
Recently, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the PSEB and Balochistan University of Information Technology, Engineering and Management Sciences for the establishment of a software technology park in the university. An open house of the project will be held in May 2022, in which companies will be invited to visit the space and provide feedback.
After that, the agreement of IT companies on the location and available space contract awarding will be carried out. – INP