IT minister vows to ensure $1bn investment for startups

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Caretaker Minister for Information Technology Umar Saif on Saturday announced that the government would establish a “Venture Capital Fund” to encourage international ventures and hoped that $1 billion investment would be ensured via the fund.

He made the remarks during a MOU signing ceremony between four US-Pakistani diaspora partners and the USAID.

The United States (US) announced the mobilisation of over $40 million in new US-Pakistani diaspora investment at the USAID “Invest in Pakistan” conference today.

Four diaspora partners concluded four new Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with the USAID valued at $44 million, increasing total diaspora commitments to nearly $200 million.

The new investment commitments include SERVINZ Limited, $5 million for restoring livelihoods in flood-affected areas; Pakfoods LLC Group and NUST $9 million for technology; Jaxeri Investment Corporation $25 million for electric vehicle local manufacturing; and Global Semiconductors Group $5 million for training youth in semiconductor and chip design technology.

Speaking on the occasion, Saif urged the companies to invest in startups in Pakistan. He said the government is doing a whole series of interventions to support them and lower their risk.

He said we will set up such a system that the companies could put money into Pakistan and repatriate it easily. Saif said Pakistani youth are the second largest online workforce in the world and we are working to make it easy for them to get paid.

Addressing the participants at the closing ceremony, US Ambassador to Pakistan Donald Blome highlighted the valuable contributions of the US-Pakistani diaspora.

“I want to congratulate our four diaspora partners, SERVINZ Limited, Pakfoods LLC Group, Jaxeri Investment Corporation, and Global Semiconductors Group, for signing these MOUs.

“I look forward to seeing the benefits these partnerships will bring to the Pakistani economy and the Pakistani people,” the Ambassador added.

“The three themes discussed at the conference today – Artificial Intelligence, electric vehicles, and semiconductor technology investments – are key to Pakistan’s economic growth and future prosperity,” he added.

The ‘Invest in Pakistan’ conference aimed to catalyze investment between US investors and Pakistani companies, APP reported.

More than 300 participants attended, including US Ambassador Donald Blome, USAID Mission Director Kate Somvongsiri, members of the US-Pakistani diaspora, and prominent Pakistani business leaders.

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