Tech industry will help boost exports and beat unemployment: PM

LAHORE (Reuters) – Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Thursday that the constant cycle of currency depletion and pressure on the rupee following a surge in economic growth can only end if exports increase – and for that , technology is of paramount importance.

Addressing the inauguration ceremony of Lahore Technopolis, a special technology zone, the Prime Minister said: “As soon as the economy experiences a little growth, we run out of dollar reserves used for machinery imports. (to cause growth), and that creates a bottleneck in our checking account. “

“The pressure is mounting on the rupee and our reserves, then we are forced to [repeatedly] approach the International Monetary Fund, ”he said.

The prime minister said that if encouraged and facilitated, the tech industry could help overcome the country’s current account deficit by boosting exports and tackling the unemployment problem.

Speaking about the inaugurated project, he said it will help provide incentives for the tech industry and make it easy for businessmen, in line with the government’s vision.

The special technology zones being developed across the country would be home to science and technology parks, manufacturing units, research and development centers of global technology companies and software companies, he said.

The project will also include universities, incubators, accelerators and other ecosystem players.

Prior to Lahore, Islamabad Technopolis was also announced earlier this year.

The Prime Minister congratulated Punjabi Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar and other relevant ministers for allocating 800 acres of land for this purpose, which he said was “the future of the world”.

Illustrating his point by citing Google and other tech giants, the prime minister said that during COVID-19 all other companies faced a crisis, but the profits of tech companies soared.

He said that unfortunately Pakistan was lagging behind in the area despite ideal conditions including a huge youth population.

Prime Minister Imran Khan said that in the past 15 to 20 years India’s technology exports have reached $ 150 billion, while Pakistan may only reach $ 2 billion.

Citing China’s development model, the premier said the country has made remarkable progress in lifting 700 million people out of poverty by eliminating corruption, imprisoning more than 450 ministerial-level people, as well as increasing the number of people at the ministerial level. exports.

The Prime Minister called for reorienting the attention of the government as well as the population towards improving exports and creating wealth.

He said that by taking advantage of its 12 climate zones, the country could reduce its import bill for commodities like edible oil through indigenous palm oil production.

Pakistanis overseas ‘biggest asset’

Calling them the most important asset, the Prime Minister also highlighted the involvement of Pakistanis overseas in investment and wealth creation in Pakistan.

He said China and India have also attracted their own companies operating overseas to invest in their countries.

He said Pakistani individuals as well as companies operating overseas, including in Silicon Valley, were interested in investing in Pakistan, which required incentives and ease of doing business.

“Join the technological race”

Prime Minister Imran Khan said the goal behind establishing Technopolis projects in Lahore, Islamabad and KP was to get Pakistan to join the tech race and provide jobs for the people.

MoU for $ 300 million investment, 10-year tax exemption

Previously, the Prime Minister had also distributed licenses to companies that would operate in Technopolis.

The event also marked the signing of a memorandum of understanding for an investment of $ 300 million for the creation of three other technology zones in different parts of the country.

Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar said Lahore was selected for the Technopole given the existence of universities and other institutes of technology as well as businesses in the city.

He said the project would help conduct research and studies based on the technology.

In order to attract investment to Technopolis, the government has granted a 10-year tax exemption to companies operating there, he added.

The chief minister said companies from various countries like the United States, Canada, China and Australia have expressed interest in investing there.

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