The Special Technology Zones Authority (STZA) plans to set up 14 technology zones across the country in 2022–23.
According to the STZA report, the STZA is currently implementing its national roll-out plan under which 5 Special Technology Zones (STZs) have already been rolled out in Islamabad, Punjab, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The STZA is in the process of rolling out STZs in Sindh, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), Gilgit-Baltistan, and Balochistan.
According to the authority, the first technology zone to be established is the Islamabad Technopolis, a 140-acre zone in Chak Shahzad. The zone will host technology companies, advanced tech production units, R&D centers, training centers, offices of science and technology support organizations, and support services.
The operationalization of this zone will take some time due to infrastructure development and the arrangements for Zone Enterprises and tenants in the central location of Islamabad have already been made. A 300,000 square feet (ft²) tower in Blue Area, Islamabad will house Zone Enterprises working in the area of artificial intelligence, financial technologies, electronics design, venture capital management, and deployment, amongst others.
Other STZs include Lahore Technopolis (800 Acres) in Lahore, Pakistan Digital city (10 Acres) in Haripur, and Pak- Austria Fachhochschule Institute of Applied Sciences and Technology (PAF-IAST) in Haripur over 100 Acres out of which 140,000 ft² is ready. Mirpur University of Science and Technology (MUST) has allocated 2000 Kanal land for the first technology zone in AJK.
According to the report, besides the establishment of special technology zones, the STZA has signed many partnerships, alliances, and Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which will lead to an influx of foreign technology companies. Mastercard and STZA have signed a Digital Country Partnership for cashless zones and digital payment solutions for SMEs.
Shorooq Partners which is a Middle East, North Africa, and Pakistan (MENAP) focused venture capital firm and STZA have signed an MoU with plans to have a Pakistan-specific venture capital fund to support entrepreneurs.