WASHINGTON DC: Pakistan’s economy is being re-geared and re-oriented towards a cashless economy with an aim to provide maximum facilitation to businessmen, investors and entrepreneurs with technology interventions.
“The Government is undertaking a series of reforms to remove all obstacles that are traditionally been reported by investors and businessmen while undertaking commercial activities in the country.”
This was stated by Mr. Salman Sufi, Head of Prime Minister’s Strategic Reforms during his meeting with Pakistani-American Tech Entrepreneurs, through video link, here at Embassy of Pakistan Washington today.
Pak Ambassador to the United States Ambassador Masood Khan convened and hosted the dialogue.
Those who joined the meeting through video link included among others Federal Minister Chaudhry Salik Hussain, Board of Investment, Ambassador at Large Mr. Zeeshan Shah, President of the Organization of Pakistani Entrepreneurs, Silicon Valley, California Mr. Junaid Qurashi, Founder of PakLaunch.com Mr. Aly Fahd, Mr. Mohammad Anwar Khan, Ms Ambreen Mirza, President OPEN Global and other renowned tech entrepreneurs and business leaders.
Addressing the participants, Chaudhry Salik Hussain recounted various policy and administrative intervention including equal treatments for local and foreign investors; opening up of all economic sectors to foreign direct investment; allowing 100% foreign equity; remittances of royalty, technical and franchise fee profits, dividends and capital gains; full protection to foreign investment and tax breaks to those investing in Special Economic Zones that have been made to ensure a conducive and business-friendly environment in the country.
Mr. Salman Sufi said that issues related to opening of bank accounts, bounced checks and requirement of physical presence for biometric verification were being resolved on priority basis with proactive support of all stakeholders. “We are bringing up a centralized KYC portal to save business community, entrepreneurs and citizens from plethora of paperwork and unnecessary documentation.”
“The Prime Minister has approved digitization of all government payments, which will open a huge opportunity for FinTech companies,” Mr. Sufi told the participants.
Ambassador Masood Khan in his remarks said that the Government was fully committed to provide requisite support to all IT sector initiatives. “Semiconductors have been has been identified as a key priority and US entrepreneurs are ready to invest in Pakistan after their due diligence.”
The Ambassador welcomed Swift invest initiative which he said would facilitate businesses and transactions thus triggering their exponential growth. He also underscored the need for promoting Roshan Digital Account which he said would not only increase remittances to the country but would also facilitate investors and businessmen.
Highlighting active engagement with digital payment platforms such as PayPal, the Ambassador observed that “a breakthrough with PayPal would accelerate our progress and would help attracting greater investments from abroad.”
The Ambassador assured the participants that their proposals to promote entrepreneurship, networking and professional growth of tech sector and startups in Pakistan would be actively pursued with the concerned departments in Pakistan by Embassy officials.
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