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PayPal and Stripe expected to launch in Pakistan soon

PayPal and Stripe expected to launch in Pakistan soon

PayPal and Stripe expected to launch in Pakistan soon
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Pakistani freelancers have long lamented the absence of PayPal, the ubiquitous online payment platform that facilitates global money transfers.

However, a recent announcement by Dr. Umar Saif, the caretaker Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication, has ignited celebrations in the freelancing community. Dr. Saif has expressed a strong commitment to bringing both PayPal and Stripe to Pakistan.

Dr. Saif, a prominent figure in Pakistan’s tech sector, outlined a comprehensive roadmap for the country’s online freelancers. The key points include:

Bringing PayPal and Stripe to Pakistan

This move alone holds significant promise for Pakistani freelancers who have struggled with limited payment options.

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Dr. Saif proposes treating online freelancing at the same tax rate as the IT industry, a mere 0.25%, which is expected to incentivize growth.

The plan aims to establish co-working spaces for up to 500,000 freelancers in Pakistan, fostering collaboration and productivity.

Dr. Saif believes that these initiatives could enable Pakistani online freelancers to collectively earn up to $2.5 billion within the next two years. These developments were shared on social media, signaling a newfound commitment to supporting the country’s freelancers.

The roadmap for boosting Pakistan’s tech sector was unveiled at a ceremony related to ITCN Asia 2023, with a goal to achieve $10 billion in annual exports.

Dr. Saif proposed increasing annual IT exports to $3.5 billion by encouraging IT companies to keep their export income in special Pakistan bank accounts rather than offshore offices, which would add $2 billion to the export figures, reaching $5.5 billion.

A critical aspect of this plan involves training 100,000 software developers in collaboration with the private sector.

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By aligning the skills of university graduates with industry demands, this initiative aims to not only enhance exports but also create employment opportunities for thousands of graduates, stimulating economic growth.

Dr. Saif highlighted the untapped potential of Pakistan’s vast online workforce, which currently contributes indirectly through remittances due to the lack of international payment gateways like PayPal.

Facilitating freelancers through global payment gateways and easier account facilities could further boost exports by an additional $2 billion.

As for the timeline of PayPal’s arrival in Pakistan, it hinges on the political situation in the country. The interim government’s tenure, to which Dr. Saif is attached, is expected to last for 90 days, but it might extend further due to the Election Commission of Pakistan’s decision to conduct a new digital census, potentially delaying the launch of PayPal until early 2024.

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