A Google delegation headed by Mr Tim Paolini, the Google APAC lead for Cloud, recently visited the office of the Special Technology Zones Authority – STZA in Islamabad along with leaders of Tech Valley Pakistan. The group held a working meeting with STZA Chairman Mr Amer Hashmi and Chief Commercial Officer Mr Javaid Iqbal, on matters of mutual interest between Google and STZA.
The visiting delegates were briefed about Special Technology Zones being developed by STZA across Pakistan and the special fiscal and monetary incentives, including but not limited to 10-year tax and duty holiday, and support being offered to domestic and foreign tech companies in the Special Tech Zones.
Chairman STZA expressed his desire to work closely with Google to enable Pakistani startups, tech SMEs as well as large-scale tech enterprises, looking to operate inside the STZs as Zone Enterprises.
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STZA expressed interest in helping Google expand its existing footprint in Pakistan by jointly working on strategic technology interventions for tech zones.
Opportunities for Google in Pakistan
Some of the suggested interventions include the establishment of a state of the art data centres across Pakistan, enhanced global cloud services to harness the local demand and boost the economic value of various industrial sectors, adding more fintech power to the financial ecosystem by introducing Google Pay and other advanced cashless payment systems for the enablement and growth of e-commerce activity, supporting Pakistan’s burgeoning freelancer market and bringing Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM’s) to Pakistan to begin manufacturing Google chrome books and other products in the Special Tech Zones.
— Special Technology Zones Authority – Pakistan (@STZAOfficial) April 25, 2022
Furthermore, Google could explore STZs in Pakistan for building dedicated Software Engineering Centres, Shared Services Centres and Research, Development, and Innovation Centers to utilize top-class talent at a much lower cost as compared to contemporary engineering destinations.
This talent is to be sourced from top Pakistani universities and national training centres in the areas of AI, Cloud Computing, Cyber Security, Robotics, and allied fields. The cooperation in the fields of venture capital funding for Pakistani startups and tech SMEs, and Google translation services to promote Urdu as a major functional language for all Google products and services were also discussed.