Pakistan, Korean Exim bank sign loan agreement for IT Park in Islamabad
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan signed a loan agreement with the Korean EXIM bank on Tuesday to build first state of the art multipurpose information Technology Park in Islamabad.
Secretary Economic Affairs Division (EAD), Mr. Tariq Mahmood Pasha and Executive Director of Korean Exim Bank, Mr. Younghoon Chang signed the document.
Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar, Minister for IT Anusha Rehman, and Korean Ambassador to Pakistan Dr. Dong-gu Suh were also present on the occasion.
The IT Park would be constructed in Chak Shahzad area of Islamabad at a cost of US $88.383 million (Rs. 9.2 billion) including loan of US $76.3 million from Korean Exim Bank.
The agreement will be provided under the Economic Development Cooperation Framework (EDCF) arrangement worth US $500 million signed with Korea in October 2015.
The IT Park would be spread over an area of 45 acres, and provide half a million sq ft of office space for 5000 knowledge workers. It would house an incubation center for start ups, a data center, and allied facilities in day care centers, gyms, and sports facilities.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar welcomed signing of the agreement and said it was the first multi-purpose IT Park being built in Pakistan.
“It would provide a conducive environment where IT companies would be able to work together and leverage each other’s expertise,” he said.
The park, he said, would not only attract investment but also help generate IT exports.
Dar thanked the Korean government for their continued support, and invited Korean Exim Bank to set up representative office in Pakistan which would facilitate better coordination between the bank, EAD and other agencies.
Speaking on the occasion Ms. Anusha Rehman said that the IT Park is a major step towards realizing the goal of digital Pakistan.
She said that it would provide a complete ecosystem for promotion of IT in the country in combination with other IT and telecom initiatives being carried on by the Ministry of IT.
The Minister said that the provision of quality work space would encourage IT companies to shift to Pakistan and strengthen the exports as well as create jobs for the local youth.
She said that it would be the first in the series of IT Parks to be built in the country. “In the next phase, similar state-of-the-art IT Parks will be built in Karachi and Lahore,” she said.
Executive Director of Korean Exim Bank, Mr. Younghoon Chang said he felt greatly honoured attending the signing ceremony.
“Pakistan was making headway in the field of IT. Pakistan’s digital landscape would be further expanded through the new IT park,” he said.
He said the project would benefit the whole of Pakistan, and the Korean Exim Bank would continue to partner Pakistan in its socio-economic development.