Friday, October 22, 2021

STZs: priority or political gimmick? - The Express Tribune

Last updated Sunday, October 3, 2021 23:38 ET , Source: TopWireNews

The Senate body has finally passed the Special Technology Zones Authority Bill 2021 to fast-track the expansion of export-oriented IT companies at a time when Pakistan’s technology exports have already increased by more than 80% over the past year.
In fact, as per International Labour Organisation’s flagship report of 2021, Pakistan has now become the second largest supplier of human capital for outsourced software development – with cumulative IT exports crossing a whopping $2 billion mark for the first time ever.
So, the burning question of the hour is: does the country need a specialised zone for IT when the sector is already booming and has been enjoying tax incentives for years?
Yes! Despite having enormous ICT talent, Pakistan has only a few IT companies that have revenues exceeding $1 million. In fact, the IT services industry is highly fragmented, and there is absence of specialised companies with a strong niche.
Due to low barriers to entry, Pakistan has many small-to-midsized competitors with all of them selling the same technologies and going after the same customers without any product differentiation or innovation.
In this regard, the Special Technology Zones (STZs) are meant to be export-oriented hubs with an aim to transform the country into a preferred IT destination.
They can act as an experimental base for structural reforms and exploration of entrepreneurial culture by engaging firms in IP creation related to emerging technologies such as...

Read Full Story: https://tribune.com.pk/story/2323168/stzs-priority-or-political-gimmick

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