Netherlands to sponsor technology program in Pakistan


In a sign of growing international interest in Pakistan’s business and technology sectors, the Netherlands is planning to introduce a sponsored technology program in Pakistan. The program will see 10 experts from the Netherlands visiting the country to provide assistance in various areas.

This information came to light when the Netherlands Policy Officer on Economic Affairs, Umair Ahmed, met with Multan Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Khawaja Jalaluddin Roomi in September.

According to The Express Tribune, at the meeting both parties highlighted the growing business and trading links between the two countries, specifically in the areas of agriculture, textiles and poultry. Ahmed pointed out that the Netherlands remains Pakistan’s fourth largest investor, and has in the recent past supported projects related to good governance, water, education, rule of law, human rights and rural development.

Roomi, on the other hand, was keen on making suggestions to further expand the trading partnership between the two countries, recommending that the Netherlands should provide warehouses in its country for Pakistani products in order to make it easy to introduce them to the Dutch market.

Roomi noted that Pakistan offers numerous lucrative business opportunities to Dutch commercial entities when it came to cattle and dairy farming, beef and chicken processing, and the energy and information technology sectors, apart from various other areas.

It should be noted here that Pakistan mainly exports textiles, woven fabrics, linen and agricultural products to the Netherlands, while the latter’s major exports to Pakistan include oil and oil products, industrial and agricultural machinery, and chemicals.

Interestingly, the announcement of this initiative in the country’s technology sector by the Netherlands has come soon after it was revealed in May that the Dutch broadband company, Augere Pakistan would be making a $10 million investment in the Pakistani market. The company launched its operations in the country back in 2010, and has since then expanded its presence in Pakistan significantly. Augere Pakistan was the first in the country to deploy LTE services in 11 cities.

TechJuice reports that the company will now be investing capital in the internet sectors of Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi and Islamabad to enhance internet service infrastructure in these cities.

These two developments, taken together, reflect the strong interest that the Dutch government as well as the private sector in the Netherlands, have been showing in Pakistan’s technology sector in recent times. Their keenness to tap its tremendous potential bodes well, specifically for the country’s technology sector, and more generally for the Pakistani economy as a whole. The increased confidence that the international business community now appears to have in the Pakistani economy is also a welcome development.