ISLAMABAD: The government has established the Special Technology Zones Authority (STZA) to boost the domestic IT sector in the country, officials said.

According to the STZA officials, the government believes that the new initiative will not only boost the country’s economy but would also create ample job opportunities for the youth.

Giving details of the purpose of establishing the authority to Dawn on Sunday, STZA officials said that the authority would help trigger the growth of scientific and technological ecosystem in the country.

He said that the initiative launched by Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday had specific mandate to facilitate the development of Special Technology Zones (STZs) in the country. “These STZs will feature some of the leading global high-tech enterprises with major national tech companies, research institutes, new-technology-based firms, startups, business support services, and convening community facilities, representing model collaborative spaces for innovation and entrepreneurship promotion,” a senior official of the authority said.

“These zones will help increase high-tech exports of Pakistan and facilitate technology transfer from major global science and technology hub,” he added.

The authority will facilitate the establishment of a national collaborative knowledge-based ecosystem by bringing together government, industry, universities and research and development entities for new industrial development.

“The STZA will be the leading government organisation mandated to promote dynamic national innovation system in the country,” he said.

Amer Ahmed Hashmi, a prominent technology entrepreneur and a senior strategic management professional with extensive global experience of high-tech development and innovation-focused triple-helix formation (model of innovation) has been appointed as the chairman of STZA.

He said that under the initiative new industrial research parks, high-tech development zones, innovation districts and special economic zones would be set up as similar initiatives had led to rapid industrialisation in countries such as China, Japan, and South Korea and now they had become the global best practice for high-speed growth and development for any country.

Published in Dawn, January 11th, 2021