South Korean bank agrees to give $76m for IT park
ISLAMABAD: A loan agreement to build Pakistan`s first stateof-the-art multipurpose Information Technology Park worth Rs9.2 billion was signed between the government and South Korea Eximbank (KEXIM) here on Tuesday.[TOP]
Secretary Economic Affairs Division (EAD) Tariq Mahmood Pasha and Executive Director of KEXIM Younghoon Chang signed the document.
The ceremony was witnessed by Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar, Minister for IT Anusha Rehman, and South Korean Ambassador to Pakistan Dr Dong-gu Suh.The information technology park would be constructed in Chak Shahzad area of Islamabad at a cost of $88.48 million (Rs9.2bn), including loan of $76.3m from KEXIM under the Economic Development Cooperation Framework (EDCF) arrangement. The EDCF arrangement worth $500m was signed with Korea in Oct 2015.
The IT park would be spread over an area of 45 acres, and provide half a million square feet of office space for 5,000 IT workers. It would house an incubation center for start ups, a data center, and allied facilities in day care centres, gyms, and sports facilities.
Mr Dar welcomed signing of the agreement and said IT Park would provide a suitable environmentwhere companies would be able to work together and leverage each other`s expertise.
The park, he said, would not only attract investment but also help generate IT exports. He appreciated the Korean government for its continued support. He invited KEXIM to have representative office in Pakistan which he said would facilitate better coordination between the Bank, EAD and other executing agencies.
Speaking on the occasion, Ms Rehman said, `The IT Park is a major step towards realising the goal of digital Pakistan. It would provide a complete ecosystem for promotion of information technology in the country in combination with other telecom initiativesbeing carried on by the ministry.
She was optimistic that the provision of quality work space would encourage IT companies to shift to Pakistan and in the process strengthen exports as well as createjobsforthe localyouth.
Similar state-of-the-art IT Parks will be built in Karachi and Lahore, the minister added.
On the occasion, Mr Chang said Pakistan was making headway in the field of IT. `Pakistan`s digital landscape would be further expanded through the new IT Park,` he said.
Senior officials from KEXIM, ministries of finance and IT, Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB), and EAD were also present at the ceremony.