Google has shown interest in digitizing Pakistan’s IT and economic sector. Recently, Ann Lavin, Google Director of Public Policy and Government Relations has expressed that their company can play a role in IT development, promotion of E-Commerce and can also assist in attracting investment in Pakistan.
Lavin said this in a meeting with Finance Minister, Ishaq Dar who asked her to submit a complete plan so the relevant stakeholders can review the proposal. Dar said that the government is committed to providing level playing field to foreign and local investors and appreciates the offer by Google.
The company has been active in Pakistan for some time and has initiated many activities in the technology sphere including different events for entrepreneurs and students. Last year, it also officially launched YouTube Pakistan and has maintained its presence in the Pakistani market.
The IT sector in Pakistan has been on the rise for the past few years. E-Commerce industry has shown tremendous growth over the last couple of years attracting both foreign and local investment. Deputy CEO of Telenor Irfan Wahab has predicted that e-commerce industry in Pakistan that values at $100 million would become a $10 billion industry in coming five years.
Anusha Rehman, Minister of State for IT and Telecom has expressed that broadband penetration is surpassing 26% and the ministry aims to take it up to 50% by end of 2018. As of November 2016, the 3G/4G subscribers have reached 36,412,247 and Broadband subscribers have increased to 39,023,370. The rising rate of internet and broadband penetration makes Pakistan a suitable country for investment and many entrants have now shown interest in the Pakistani economy.