ISLAMABAD: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide financing for setting up of a benchmark model information technology park in Karachi as well as help in developing a strategy for national IT parks, it was learnt here.

The government has requested the ADB to support its efforts to rejuvenate the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector. The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecom has initiated institutional arrangements such as the establishment of ‘Research and Development Fund’ for ICT.

It is engaged in a bilateral manner with the Chinese government and is strengthening high-speed infrastructure capacity by undertaking development of landing gateways in the north and laying of fibre optics cable linkage systems. The information technology ministry will implement the project in Karachi to construct the benchmark IT park.

Necessary policy inputs for such parks and smart governance solutions are already outlined in the IT Policy 2017.

The ADB assistance also includes development of smart city strategy and piloting it, and strengthening of ICT skills in higher education stream with technological readiness for knowledge-based economy.

The investment is in line with the government’s mid-term IT development policy, the ‘Digital Pakistan Policy 2017’. The project will be aligned with ICT industry contribution to inclusive growth increased, as outlined in the ‘Vision-2025’.

The proposed project will help the government in adopting a long-term strategy and implementation framework for the re-invigorations of ICT sector and smart city solutions to allow holistic development of IT ecosystem through the establishment of IT park.

The project will contribute to higher and more inclusive growth through integrated adoption of ICT solutions in Pakistan.

Published in Dawn, October 27th, 2017