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Digital Frontier: PayPal Forges Path into Pakistan through Strategic Collaboration

Islamabad, January 06, 2024, The Europe Today: PayPal is poised to make a substantial entry into the Pakistani market through a strategic partnership with an existing international payment gateway, with the official joint venture announcement anticipated in the coming week. Dr Umar Saif, the Caretaker Minister for IT and Telecom, revealed that PayPal’s operations in Pakistan will be facilitated indirectly through this collaborative effort, marking a pivotal moment for the country’s burgeoning freelance community, estimated at around 1.5 million individuals and ranking as the fourth-largest globally.

This development follows persistent efforts by previous administrations to convince PayPal to establish its presence in Pakistan, overcoming prior resistance due to security concerns. Dr Saif emphasized the positive implications for the country’s IT exports and freelancer remittances, attributing the anticipated growth to recent measures supporting a more liberal financial regime.

In furthering the growth of Pakistan’s IT sector, the Caretaker Minister for IT and Telecom, Dr Umar Saif, highlighted a 13% increase in IT export inflows for November, with expectations of continued growth. Various initiatives undertaken by the IT Ministry include the provision of smartphones through instalment plans, standardized quality tests for IT graduates, and the approval of the National Space Policy. Dr Saif expressed confidence in the launch of 5G services in Pakistan by July 2024, facilitated by a spectrum auction offering 300 MHz. The government’s ambitious goal is to elevate IT exports from $2.6 billion to approximately $5 billion by fostering a more liberal financial regime.

Notable measures include allowing IT companies to retain 50% of their export revenue in dollars in local accounts, easing international payments. To further support freelancers and startups, the government plans to establish 10,000 e-Rozgar Centres nationwide. The approved National Space Policy enables companies to utilize low-orbit satellites for communication services, further positioning Pakistan as a competitive player in the global IT landscape.