Highlighting an investment-friendly environment and business opportunities available in Pakistan, Islamabad’s ambassador to the United States has said that his country has opened new doors for foreign investment in IT, energy, agriculture, mining, and defence production.
The ambassador, in his address during a two-day conference on ‘Resilience and Reform in Pakistan’ organised by the think tank South Asia Centre on Friday, said tech startups in Pakistan are seeing a dramatic rise.
From a meagre $10 million venture capital funding in 2018 per year, global VCs and other investors are pouring in $1 billion annually now, the seasoned diplomat told the event’s participants. “Total tech startup turnover in the last fiscal year was $3 billion, whereas, e-commerce in Pakistan earned about $6 billion.”
He added: “This is just the beginning. Pakistan is not far behind in the tech revolution that has taken off in South East Asia, Middle East, and North Africa. The gap is now closing. Pakistan is catching up.”
He attributed the change to the digitisation of the economy, e-commerce, and improved supply chains, noting that tech startups have particularly been successful in fintech, retail, pharmacy, diagnostics, telemedicine, education, groceries, and transportation.
“We are vigorously pursuing institutional reforms for macroeconomic stability, social development, fiscal discipline, absorption of external shocks and improvement in business climate,” the ambassador said.
He also said that Pakistan was also streamlining its tax system to make it broad-based and equitable in order to finance human development, infrastructure development, and climate resilience.
“Overarching reforms being undertaken aim to unlock ease of doing business, enforce intellectual property rights, ensure stable payment cycles and accelerate capital formation,” he said.
“We will stay the course,” predicted the ambassador.