Punjab Showcases Startups At Dubai Expo 2020 To Reach Out To International Investors; Startup Punjab Portal Launched, MoUs Signed

“Dubai Expo 2020 Has Given Pakistani Startups And The IT Industry The Opportunity To Show Their Potential And Skills To A Global Audience

The ongoing Dubai Expo 2020 has seen investors, startups, businessmen and government officials from world over flock to Dubai. Commencing on October 1st 2021, it will continue for six months to conclude on March 31 next year. The Pakistan Pavilion at the Expo is showcasing success stories from Pakistan in front of a global audience.

The Pakistan Pavilion is attracting scores of visitors including foreigners and the Pakistani diaspora. The Expo is thus a great opportunity to present Punjab as a great investment destination, potential business opportunities in the ICT sector and successful technology based startups to the world.  In this regard, a number of activities were organized at the Pakistan Pavilion including ‘Panel Discussion on Startup Ecosystem,’ ‘Panel Discussion on South Asia’s New Hub of ICT – Punjab, Pakistan,’ ‘Startup Moot,’ ‘Seminar on Showcasing Strengths and Opportunities in ICT Sector of Punjab,’ and an ‘International Business Conference.’ 

Punjab Minister for IT & Higher Education Raja Yassir Humayun was the key speaker at the panel discussions. Chairman Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) Azfar Manzoor, Chairman PASHA Badar Khushnood, CEO Infotech Naseer Akhtar, Managing Director IBEX Nadeem Elahi, Founder and CEO Katalysts Labs Jehan Ara, Managing Partner Global Semiconductor Group and other experts from the IT industry were also among the panelists.

20 startups from Punjab are participating in the Expo. These were selected by IT experts of the industry after careful evaluation. Startup Punjab portal was also officially launched as a part of Startup Punjab initiative during the International Business Conference. Punjab Minister for IT & Higher Education Raja Yassir Humayun, Minister for Industries, Commerce, Investment and Skill Development Punjab Mian Muhammad Aslam Iqbal, Punjab Finance Minister Hashim Jawan Bakht, Ambassador of Pakistan to UAE Afzaal Mahmood, Chairman PITB Azfar Manzoor and DG PITB Sajid Latif were also present at the occasion.  Speaking at the occasion Raja Yassir Humayun said, “Dubai Expo 2020 has given Pakistani startups and the IT industry the opportunity to show their potential and skills to a global audience. This will help in attracting foreign investments to support the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Pakistan.”

“Startup Punjab portal developed by PITB aims at bridging the disconnect between Pakistani startups and international stakeholders, boost the ICT industry nationwide and expand the footprint of Pakistan on the global entrepreneurship landscape,” he further added while appreciating PITB’s role in promoting the entrepreneurship spirit among the youth. ‘PITB is overseeing several initiatives aimed at grooming the startups and training of youth enabling them to set up successful businesses and benefit from the international freelancing platforms,” Chairman PITB Azfar Manzoor commented.

Pakistani diaspora is playing a very important role in the growth and progress of our country. In order to further consolidate their support for strengthening the entrepreneurial ecosystem, Punjab IT Board signed two MoUs in Dubai.  First was with the Pakistan Business Council Dubai, a non-profitable organization, working under the patronage of Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry UAE. Second was with the Pakistan Overseas Community Global with its central secretariat in London, United Kingdom. It represents the overseas Pakistanis in the world.

The MoUs were signed by Chairman PITB Azfar Manzoor in the presence of Minister IT & Higher Education Raja Yassir Humayun. PITB DG Sajid Latif was also present at the ceremony.  Pakistani startups attracted lot of attention at the Dubai Expo 2020 making their mark in face of global competition. Potential investors from UAE showed keen interest in their products/services and met Minister for IT & Higher Education Punjab Raja Yassir Humayun, Chairman PITB Azfar Manzoor & the Start-ups from Punjab. The investors praised the quality of the young companies from Pakistan expressing keen interest in collaboration. PITB is the IT arm of the Government of Punjab and is playing a vital role in implementing a range of ICT interventions across the province. In this regard, a documentary by PITB was also shown at Dubai Expo 2020 highlighting Punjab’s IT potential to the world and Pakistani diaspora.