STZs boost IT sector

The announcement of the development of Special Technology Zones (STZs) in Pakistan is a revolutionary move and a strong indicator of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government commitment towards the technological development and sustainability of the country’s digital landscape.

The main objective of the establishment of STZs is to give incentives to the information technology sector to make it flourish for the benefit of the country. This was stated by Cheng Xizhong, visiting professor at Southwest University of Political Science and Law in his article published by China Economic Net (CEN) on Sunday.

Information technology is a revolutionary sector that needed to be exploited to meet the demands of the contemporary world, said Prime Minister Imran Khan, while addressing the launching ceremony of the Special Technology Zones Authority (STZA) in Islamabad.

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As mankind has experienced the agricultural revolution and industrial revolution, now it is going through the information revolution. In the process of coping with the COVID-19 pandemic, we have clearly seen the importance of information technology. Prime Minister Imran Khan pointed out that only those companies that adapted to information technology well in time have gained during the coronavirus pandemic.

To realise the importance of this zone, the prime minister recently appointed a new Chairperson, Amer Hashmi, to oversee the Special Technology Zones Authority (STZA). Mr Amer Hashmi, who has worked in the Silicon Valley, working as a senior executive at IBM, also was the founding CEO of Si3 – Pakistan’s pioneering technology outsourcing firm that helped stimulate IT systems integration in public and private organizations in Pakistan.

In his latest article, Cheng Xizhong mentioned that Pakistan is committed to the development of digital economy. Information technology and digital economy are closely related and the new generation of information technology is the booster of digital economy.

The development of cloud computing, big data, Internet of things, mobile Internet, artificial intelligence and other new-generation information technologies is accelerating global industrial division, economic restructuring and reshaping the pattern of global economic competition.

“Therefore, I believe that Pakistan is striving to build core technology industry ecology, to realize the coordinated development of the industrial chain, value chain and innovation chain, and promote the rapid development of the digital economy,” he added.

He said the information technology industry is a labor-intensive industry, which can create tens of thousands of employment opportunities. It is the most suitable for young people with higher technical education. With the second-youngest population in the world, Pakistan can utilize the information technology sector in employing its youth. Also, the Pakistani nationals working in other countries can benefit from the STZs.

China’s information technology and the digital economy are developing rapidly. Pakistan is China’s second-largest source of foreign students, with about 28,000 students studying in China. We should encourage these students to return home after graduation, to make contributions to the development of information technology and digital economy, and to the realization of the four ‘zations’, namely, informatization, digitization, industrialization and modernization in their own country.

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Now as the construction of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor has entered the second stage, the industrial cooperation between China and Pakistan with Special Economic Zones and Special Technology Zones as the carriers will become the focus. Therefore, I firmly believe that after STZs are fully in operation, information technology enterprises from China and other countries will rush to invest in Pakistan, and work closely with Pakistan’s partners, effectively promoting the fast development of Pakistan’s above-mentioned four ‘zations’.

Courtesy: APP and additional information by GVS News Desk

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