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PayPal, Stripe Set To Facilitate Pakistan’s Freelance Community

PayPal, Stripe Set To Facilitate Pakistan’s Freelance Community

PayPal, Stripe Set To Facilitate Pakistan’s Freelance Community

PayPal, Stripe Set To Facilitate Pakistan’s Freelance Community

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  • Pakistan government is actively engaged in discussions with PayPal and Stripe, says officials.
  • The aim is to enable IT professionals and freelancers to efficiently transfer their earnings.
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  • Around 27 companies and over 45 start-ups from Pakistan are exhibiting at Gitex.

A senior official announced on Monday that the Pakistan government is actively engaged in discussions with PayPal and Stripe, two leading payment gateways.

The aim is to enable IT professionals and freelancers to efficiently transfer their earnings to Pakistan.

This initiative is vital for Pakistani businesses providing IT services to foreign clients and individual freelancers, as the current services offered by these gateways do not support fund transfers to Pakistan.

“The biggest challenge for IT professionals and freelancers is to bring money into Pakistan. So we need companies like PayPal, Stripe and other entities. We are pursuing them and have submitted a business case,” Dr. Umar Saif, caretaker Federal Minister for IT and telecommunications in Pakistan, told Khaleej Times in an interview on the sidelines of the Gitex Global at Dubai World Trade Centre.

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From October 16 to 20, more than 6,000 local, regional and international companies and start-ups are exhibiting their products.

Around 27 companies and over 45 start-ups from Pakistan are exhibiting at Gitex.

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The minister highlighted the existence of regulatory compliance challenges and expressed the intention to address these issues to enable PayPal and Stripe to operate within the country.

He assured that significant progress in this regard would be made in the coming weeks.

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Pakistan boasts the world’s second-largest online freelance workforce, comprising approximately one million individuals.

Additionally, the country produces 75,000 new IT graduates annually.

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“Many companies keep their funds outside the country because there are challenges for them to bring them into the country. They need this liquidity to function smoothly. So we are trying to bring reforms under which IT companies will be able to retain 50 per cent of their revenues in US dollars in their bank accounts. They will have online bank account solutions to spend the funds,” said the minister.

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To bolster support for freelancers, Dr. Saif disclosed that the government plans to offer interest-free loans to private sector developers.

These funds will be utilized to establish co-working spaces that can accommodate up to 500,000 freelancers across the nation.

The minister further emphasized that the current IT sector workforce in Pakistan, currently numbering 150,000 professionals, has the potential to grow to 700,000.

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$10 billion IT exports potential

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As of now, Pakistan’s annual IT exports amount to $2.6 billion, a figure that Dr. Saif believes has the potential to grow significantly, possibly reaching $10 billion in the foreseeable future.

To support this growth, Pakistan has established the Special Technology Zones Authority, tasked with creating IT zones.

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Within these zones, companies will receive tax and utility-related incentives to stimulate exports.

These technology zones are designed to accommodate technology firms, outsourcing companies, startups, financial institutions, and real estate developers with the capability to construct essential technology infrastructure.

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“Around 5-6 technology zones are under development, and 2-3 are already operational. These zones will help to develop and promote the ecosystem in the country and boost exports. Pakistan’s total exports are around $2.6 billion, which have the potential to reach $10 billion,” he added.

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PayPal and Stripe’s Pakistan Arrival Confirmed!
PayPal and Stripe’s Pakistan Arrival Confirmed!

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