Pakistan tops Asian telecom users and investment destinations

3G/4G Mobile users in Pakistan

Pakistan takes the first place in the South Asians as telecom users, a destination for investment and many multilateral institutions, the World Bank this week said. Pakistan leads the region in e-commerce, digital finance and branchless banking in the forward movement expanding of the National Financial Inclusion Strategy campaign.

A maximum sweep and use of mobile telephony, other equipment, commercial, business, industrial, education and media sectors is seen from the Arabian Sea shores, beside the United Arab Emirates to the Himalayan heights and the K-2 peaks in north extreme of Pakistan. E-commerce sights and businesses are coming up in these snow regions. Vendors sell fancy Pakistani handicrafts as far as Germany, Norway and Japan via the Internet. While this change of the telecom and IT users is in progress, Pakistan is the first destination for foreign investors and the market is changing to being the kind where all types of mobile telephony, telecom and ICT related services and products are used.

The sister countries include production and assembly of computers, laptops and other It equipment is growing with these developments. The production activities are likely to expand and the proposals to reduce the present taxes and other concessions are being considered by the government. Pakistan Computer Association (PCA) has proposed a withdrawal of some taxes and the levy of fixed customs duties and taxes on IT products.

Our proposals will encourage legal import of IT products, remove taxes relating to the Generalized Scheme of Preferences. It will provide the IT industry a level playing field, reduce consumer prices, and cut down large scale smuggling,

Says PCA chairman, Munawwar Iqbal.

If the government agrees to levy a fixed tax on each IT product, it will bring Rs5.5 billion a year in the form of new revenue.

Abdul Rauf Alam, president of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FPCC&I) says:

The computer industry in Pakistan plays a significant role in the development and progress of the overall economy. The problems being faced by PCA and other sectors of the private sector are being discussed with Finance Minster Ishaq Dar, who is busy preparing the budget and the tax proposals for the National Budget for 2016.

The budget will be unveiled in June. Meanwhile, the World Bank Group and its 25 associates in the programme to reach Universal Financial Access -2020, of which Pakistan is a member, reported that

Around six per cent of adults in Pakistan have mobile accounts as compared to South Asia’s average of less than 2.6 percent.

Pakistan having a formal and regulated transaction account is opening a channel to other financial services as savings payments, insurance, and credit, which can be helping people manage their lives better. Confirmed by the statistics are the prospects for IT-mobile telephone services and banking for moving forward hand-in-hand and enjoying growth in the various sectors.

It is shown that 13 percent of adults have a formal account, less than 5% women are included in the formal finance sector, 27.5 million adults say distance to a financial organization a barrier for the opening of a financial account while 2.9% adults have a debit card. The telecom sector is seeing a growth in the form of new equipment import, new connections and the state of the art technology, private use, and its applications from e-commerce to banking and fintech. The Pakistan Telecom Authority (PTA), World Bank and internationals say that this number is in millions.

The number of broadband subscribers is over 26 million people, PTA said which increases the broadband usage from 3 to more than 15 percent. A 10% increase in the high speed internet connections will increase the GDP by 1.38% World Bank says. A good and positive effect of coming of broadband in Pakistan is set to happen on the growth of the economy. This shows the speed and size of the rate of dividends and profits is in this modern telecoms and the reason as to invest foreign and domestic funds in Pakistan.

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