Shamim Shahid

PESHAWAR, JAN 17: Special Technology Zones Authority (STZA) and Pak-Austria Fachochschule: Institute of Applied Sciences and Technology (PAF IAST) hosted a ceremony to officially announce the opening of Special Technology Zones (STZ) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Monday. The Honorable Prime Minister, Mr. Imran Khan, attended the ceremony as chief guest. 
Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan, Federal Ministers Pervez Khattak, Asad Umar and Umar Ayub, Special Assistant to Prime Minister Shahbaz Gul, Chairman STZA, Aamir Hashmi and others also attended the event. 
The STZA awarded the first Zone Developer License in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to PAF-IAST and the second License to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Technology Board (KPITB) for Pakistan Digital City in Haripur. Both the PAF-IAST and KPITB are committed to the development of knowledge ecosystems, which will enable youth employment, opportunity creation, and economic transformation through the technology sector. The STZs will open avenues for the youth, foster new high-tech skills, and create opportunities for employment, business, entrepreneurship and international investors. 
The PAF-IAST has established their own Technology Park to encourage the commercialization of research and to attract foreign direct investment to Pakistan. The university aims to facilitate interaction between the university and industry, and particularly with technology and R&D led companies. The university also offers skill-based training in emerging fields of Artificial Intelligence, Information Technology, and Biomedical Engineering. KPITB, which was also awarded Zone Developer License, plans on establishing Digital City, for which the work is already initiated, to promote and jumpstart growth in the technology industry by bringing together various ecosystem players. KPITB intends to transfer the following technologies: i) High-tech manufacturing, ii) Quantum Computing, iii) Cybersecurity, iv) Artificial Intelligence, and v) Cyber Physical Systems. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is home to emerging technology companies and a burgeoning startup ecosystem.  Hence, it offers promising opportunities for the youth in the technology sector. STZA is committed towards ensuring that the province continues to play a critical role in the technology-led growth of Pakistan.