Pakistan’s Ambitious Plan to Boost IT Exports with PayPal and Stripe

Pakistan's Ambitious Plan to Boost IT Exports with PayPal and Stripe

Pakistan’s interim government is strategically working to attract online payment giants PayPal and Stripe to the country, aiming to propel its IT exports.

In May 2023, Pakistan’s IT exports surged by approximately 24%, and the annual figure for 2022 stood at $2.6 billion.

Dr. Umar Saif, the caretaker IT Minister and tech visionary, has outlined a plan to boost IT exports to $5 billion. This plan includes training over 200,000 professionals, streamlining dollar retention accounts, and enticing global online payment platforms, such as PayPal and Stripe, to establish their presence in Pakistan.

More than 600,000 Pakistanis currently export their IT services globally, primarily through freelance work and various IT technologies. They collectively contribute $250 million per month in export remittances to South Asian countries.

However, freelancers face payment challenges since PayPal and Stripe do not currently operate in Pakistan due to factors such as limited business opportunities, regulatory and compliance concerns, and apprehensions regarding fraud and money laundering.

In a social media announcement, Dr. Umar Saif revealed that Prime Minister Kakar has approved and commended their Ministry of IT and Telecom plan. This plan includes initiatives to bring PayPal and Stripe to Pakistan and establish co-working spaces for 500,000 freelancers, potentially increasing their earnings by an additional $3 billion annually.

Furthermore, the interim PM has given the green light for incentives to support local smartphone manufacturing and exports in Pakistan, as well as the introduction of a smartphone financing platform to boost local demand.

Dr. Saif also highlighted plans to roll out a 5G auction within ten months, employing strategies like active spectrum sharing, progressive taxation policies, and favorable regulations.

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