These businesses will be bringing in US$8.5 million in foreign investment to produce their respective goods and solutions.
In spite of the dismal economic condition, the National Science and Technology Park (NSTP) SEZ committee approved the entry applications of three new businesses with significant FDI during its third meeting, showing that foreign investors have faith in Pakistani tech firms.
Once the NSTP and Islamabad were declared Special Economic Zones (SEZ), the area began to be colonised by domestic and foreign R&D-based businesses, with 25+ firms already gaining Zone Enterprise Status in the committee’s first two meetings in the year 2022.
PriceOye, an e-commerce company building marketplaces for consumer electronics, OrbitEd (Cygnus Creative Software Pvt Ltd), an ED Tech company building an eLearning platform for virtual reality (VR) training apps for enterprise businesses, and AlfaBolt, a fintech company with the product Nomad, an easy payment platform, and AlfaBolt Analytics, which helps businesses identify actions that drive user value, are among the applicants.
Peter Thiel, the creator of PayPal, was one of many investors who recently provided startup investment to PriceOye. The startup’s $ 7.9 million seed round was funded by BeeNext, DG Daiwa, Mantis VC, HOF Capital, Palm Drive Capital, and Atlas Ventures, in addition to previous backers Fatima Gobi Ventures, SOSV, and Artistic Ventures.
Boost VC in Silicon Valley invested $ 500,000 in Orbit-Ed, a female-led ed-tech business, raising its total pre-seed capital to $ 800,000.
In totaled, these companies will receive foreign investments totaling US$8.5 million from investors to develop their corresponding products and services. More than 100 high-quality direct and indirect jobs have been created by these enterprises.
In order to expedite investments in the country and ensure ease of doing business, the Federal Board of Investment established the SEZ’s One Window Operation to handle applications for zone enterprise admission as well as the distribution of land and offices.
The SEZ Act of 2012 has qualified these companies for SEZ benefits, including the allotment of land and offices as well as tax and customs duty exemptions.
The government will be able to exempt these companies from import duties and income taxes, allowing them to develop into regional and national successes.
In addition to improving the socioeconomic circumstances for the vast majority of its residents, this will boost the nation’s ranking on the Global Innovation Index and win over foreign investors.
The National University of Science and Technology (NUST) project received the SEZ designation at the sixth meeting of the Board of Approvals, which was held on October 7, 2020 and was presided over by the prime minister. The project is located at H-12 on the NUST campus in Islamabad.
The SEZ’s objectives include boosting the country’s economic activities and developing a knowledge-based multi-industry cluster that encompasses the engineering, biotech/pharma, banking/financial services, power, defence technology, and automotive sectors.
Through research, development, and the manufacture of goods and services that are competitive worldwide and beneficial to the home economy, the synergies will lead to technological improvement, the development of efficient systems, and the resolution of industry problems.
The SEZ committee members unanimously agreed that, while recognising the uniqueness of the NSTP, it is vitally necessary to promote the hi-tech industry through R&D in order to bring Pakistan’s industrial base up to par with that of other countries in the area.
The third committee meeting was presided over by AVM Dr. Rizwan Riaz (retired), Pro-Rector (RIC) NUST, and VP NSTP, and it was attended by officials from the federal and district governments. The Manager SEZ, Lt Col Shakeel Ahmad Shah, attended the meeting on behalf of the Board of Investment.