ISLAMABAD - Saudi Arabia’s Prince Fahad bin Mansour yesterday launched a $100 million Saudi Arabia-Pakistan Tech House here, an initiative aimed at creating opportunities through partnerships with information technology (IT) companies in Pakistan. The joint venture is part of the Saudi government’s Vision 2030 strategic framework, an effort to pivot Saudi Arabia away from oil dependency and establish it as a global investment powerhouse with a sophisticated digital infrastructure. Saudi Arabia is estimated to have mobilized around $500 billion to achieve the goals, including the development of new cities.
Prince Fahad unveiled his plans to set up a tech house earlier this year during Pakistan’s largest tech conference, Future Fest. He had said the purpose of the tech house would be to improve business relations between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.
The tech house will be established under ILSA Interactive, a company co-founded by Prince Fahad and Pakistani entrepreneur Salman Nasir in 2009 that has offices in Riyadh and Lahore. “Today it is my honour to announce the launch of the Saudi Pakistan Tech House,” Prince Fahad said during the launching ceremony in Islamabad. “Our venture in Pakistan will be a catalyst for this partnership to provide a platform for greater collaboration and growth,” he said. He added the venture was a new dimension for greater cooperation and strengthening the longstanding strategic relationship between the two countries. “I would like to re-assert that we are looking forward to creating more than 1,000 jobs in Pakistan and are expecting to have more than 300 projects with a minimum cost of $100 million in the next five years,” the prince added.
He expressed the confidence in Pakistan’s workforce and startups to form partnerships that would prove to be a game-changer for both countries’ IT sectors.
“I look forward to seeing Pakistan’s entrepreneurs and tech companies to further boost the relationship between our two countries,” he said. He further said that Saudi Arabia planned to have a Saudi Tech House in every region, from the east to the west, under Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, given under the roadmap of Crown Prince Muhammed bin Salman. Saudi Ambassador Nawaf Bin Said Al-Maliki while speaking on the occasion said that he feels very happy for participating in the opening ceremony of Saudi-Pakistan Tech House which will further strengthen cooperation in the information technology field between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Youth Affairs Shaza Fatima Khawaja praised the Saudi crown prince’s leadership in modernizing the Kingdom.