Islamabad October 09 (Online): In a major breakthrough that would give tremendous impetus to Pakistan’s economy, Prime Minister Imran Khan has approved High Tech Special Economic Zone (SEZ) status for the National University of Sciences & Technology (NUST).
As per the announcement by Board of Investment (BoI), this approval was granted in the 6th meeting of the Board of Approvals chaired by the Prime Minister on October 7, 2020.
Through the conferment of this unprecedented status for any Higher Education Institution in Pakistan, NUST has become the only High Tech Special Economic Zone among the 20 SEZs in the country (the remaining being industrial zones).
Through this landmark development, national and international high tech businesses as well as Small & Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) shall immensely benefit, thereby accelerating Pakistan’s transition into a thriving Knowledge Economy.
In a special vote of thanks, Lt Gen Naweed Zaman, HI(M), (Retd), Rector NUST, expressed deep gratitude to the Prime Minister and the Government for bestowing this exclusive status upon NUST, which will indeed augur well for the cause of Science, Technology and Innovation in the country.
He also acknowledged the ready guidance and patronage of the BoI, which enabled NUST to achieve this milestone.
SEZs provide a number of economic incentives that are a preferred component of thriving Research and Innovation ecosystems across the world. Free Trade Zones, Export Processing Zones, Special Technology and Hi-tech Zones, etc., around the globe are some of the economic substructures that have been designed to deliver tax and import stimulants and enhance the germination and development of disruptive technologies and hi-tech entities.
The first S&T-based SEZ of the country will witness the transformation of the pilot National Science & Technology Park (NSTP) at NUST (which was inaugurated by the PM in Dec 2019) into a full-blown STP with a hosting capacity of 250 industry and R&D partners, becoming the nation’s optimal platform for research and innovation. National and international companies working to tap the Fourth Industrial Revolution will now have the most diametrically complete and perfect ecosystem of the country in the form of the NSTP, thus contributing towards achieving import substitution and exports.
The award of SEZ will not only catalyse the transformation of NSTP into a national and regional economic hub but also pave the way for similar endeavours elsewhere in the country, improving our Global Innovation Index and catapulting the country among the league of leading knowledge economies of the region and the world.
After this momentous achievement, NUST is all set to invite Expressions of Interest from prospective partners for the full-scale multi-tower-based NSTP project to be launched soon.