Pakistan’s envoy to the US Masood Khan addressing OPEN Annual Forum at Silicon Valley. — PR

Pakistan’s envoy to the US Masood Khan addressing OPEN Annual Forum at Silicon Valley. — PR

WASHINGTON: Pakistan’s envoy to the US Masood Khan called on Pakistani American tech entrepreneurs to act as catalysts to spur growth and investment in Pakistan’s IT and start-up sectors.

Ambassador Masood Khan made the appeal while speaking at the Organization of Pakistani Entrepreneurs (OPEN) Annual Forum at Silicon Valley session on promoting investments in Pakistan’s tech sector.

The envoy said that the recent uptick in the bilateral relations between Pakistan and the US had provided a window of opportunity for the Pakistani-Americans to invest in Pakistan. He noted that both countries had prioritised economic partnership to be the new anchor of bilateral relations and were working together to create opportunities for cooperation in trade, technology, health, energy, agriculture and education.

Briefing the participants on investment opportunities in Pakistan, the ambassador said that the country’s pivotal geographical location, its extended neighbourhood and its impressive demographic cohorts make it an ideal destination for investment. He noted that around 80 US companies and corporations had been doing business in Pakistan for decades.

The envoy said that the Government of Pakistan had taken a number of steps to improve the investment climate in the country, including liberal visa regime, streamlining of taxes and easy repatriation of profits. As a result, he added, US technology investors and venture capitalists were investing in Pakistan’s startup eco-system in e-commerce, fintech, health, retail and supply chains.

During the session, the “Pakistan Katalytic Fund” of $50 million for investing in Pakistani startups was also announced.

Earlier, Ambassador Masood Khan gave keynote remarks in a session on disaster management through technology.

OPEN Silicon Valley Annual Forum is an annual event organised by the Silicon Valley chapter of OPEN. This year’s event was focused on Fintech, web 3, Startup eco-systems in Pakistan and climate change. It was attended by nearly 2000 participants, including entrepreneurs, businessmen, professionals, academics and students.

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