Karachi: Federal Minister of Information Technology and Telecommunication Syed Amin ul Haque on Monday launched Pakistan’s largest Information Technology Park project in Karachi to facilitate the fastest growing IT sector in the metropolis.
The minister laid foundation stone in a ceremony held here at the project site near Karachi Airport that would provide state of the art facilities to national and international companies besides job opportunities to more than 20,000 IT professionals.
The project was approved by ECNEC at estimated cost of Rs. 41.39 billion or USD 186.658 million which included a loan amounting to $ 158.416 million by Korean Exim Bank and PSDP local share of Rs. 6.25 billion. The project would be completed in June 2026.
Speaking at ground breaking ceremony Syed Amin-ul-Haque felicitated people of Karachi, Sindh and the entire country on the launch of the project and said that projects of public interest were first priority of the government.
He said that dream of Karachi IT Park had to go through a long process and now it has come true by overcoming all the difficulties and with hard work of all the concerned quarters.
The largest IT project of its kind in Pakistan would benefit not only the citizens of Karachi, but also the IT professionals and companies of the entire country, he said and called for gearing up the development work so that the project could be completed in the shortest possible time.
Core objective of the park was to provide a place equipped with IT and telecommunication basic infrastructure requirements, clean facilities and ample working space to enable innovative businesses develop and prosper, the minister said.
The Karachi IT Park would support the creation and development of knowledge-based enterprises besides offering a range of services, would boost knowledge based economy, entrepreneurship and latest Technologies as well, he said adding that park’s eleven storey building would provide office space to nearly 225 startups and Small to Medium enterprises and other ancillary facilities like testing laboratories, class rooms, industry academia linkage centre, and auditorium etc.
The minister further said that the Ministry of IT and Telecommunication has achieved many milestones launched 70 USF projects of OFC and broadband in four provinces at a cost of Rs. 65 billion.
He informed that in province of Sindh, 20 projects of NGBSD and OFC worth Rs. 16.30 billion had been started so far in 20 districts, including Tharparkar, Nawabshah, Khairpur, Larkana, Badin, Jacobabad, Shikarpur, Mirpurkhas and Dadu.
Syed Amin-Ul-Haque said that for the first time in Pakistan, smart phone manufacturing licenses were issued, under which 29 companies were now manufacturing smart phones and digital devices in Pakistan.
He said that National Incubation Centres (NIC) were established in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar, Quetta and recently in Hyderabad as well while the seventh NIC would be set up in Faisalabad.
As a result of our initiatives, the volume of IT exports has reached $USD 2.62 billion with an increase of 47% while the amount of investment for Pakistani startups has reached $ 818 millions, he said adding that steps have been taken to provide IT training facilities of international standard to the fresh IT graduates and the Centre of Excellence project for youth training in University of Karachi was under consideration.
Former Federal Minister Dr. Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, speaking at the occasion said that a much bigger IT park was required in metropolis but the initiative was a welcome step and it would ensure better facilities for the sector.
He said that work at home was the future work strategy that would remain constant as it has become a practical and feasible approach around the world.
Karachi contributes 70 % of the national revenue and it has potential to derive the entire country on the path of development and prosperity, he said and added that Karachi was ready to forward the nation on path of speedy development.
Special Assistant to Chief Minister for IT Tanzeela Umm-Habiba, Consul General of South Korea to Pakistan Kim Haksung and Chief Secretary Sindh Dr. Muhammad Sohail Rajput, also addressed the ceremony.
Earlier caretaker MD Pakistan Software Export Board Syed Junaid Imam delivered welcome speech and highlighted the salient features of the IT park project.