Following the announcement of plans to form a joint technology house, Saudi startups at Pakistan’s largest tech conference are looking toward future collaboration with the South Asian nation. About 50,000 people, including representatives from 500 companies and 200 exhibitors from more than thirty countries (including a delegation from Saudi Arabia), attended Future Fest 2023. it was a three-day expo hosted in Lahore that ended on Sunday. During his virtual address, Saudi Arabia’s Prince Fahad bin Mansour Al-Saud announced plans to establish a Saudi-Pakistan Tech House “to encourage increased ease of doing business” between the two countries.
Prince Fahad is a co-founder of ILSA Interactive, a software development company with headquarters in Riyadh and branches in Lahore. ILSA Interactive was founded in 2009 by Pakistani entrepreneur Salman Nasir. There was a lot of optimism for the project from the Saudi companies present at the festival, who believed it would help bring together Pakistani and Saudi talent and open up new doors for the country’s growth.
Abdulrahman Al-Yemni, the logistics director at Saudi-based e-commerce logistics company Salasa, told Arab News that the event was a “big success” that will link the economies of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. He said that workers from Pakistan already contribute “major time” to “the structure and expertise of Saudi Arabia,” so this program would let Saudi startups tap into that pool. He also thinks that Pakistan’s human capital could help Saudi Arabia improve its IT infrastructure.
When asked about Pakistan, Humayun Rashid, corporate account manager at Saudi cloud provider Unifonic, claimed the country’s talent was “fantastic” and called it the “next tech destination.” He continued by saying that the entire Unifonic staff is ecstatic about the project and that it will be a “great wind for businesses.” Since it will be beneficial to businesses in both nations and provide an excellent opportunity for them to collaborate and develop as a whole, he is looking forward to it.
Future Fest 2023
Future Fest 2023 was a 3-day occasion that brings together experts from over 40 sectors to explore the future of humanity and how technology may pave the path for it. Leaders in various sectors gather to address the most pressing issues of our day and the ways in which tech can be used for good to #SaveTheFuture. Binance, Epic, KuCoin, Google Developers, Payoneer, Careem, Swvl, S&P Global, and more than 200 other partners and sponsors showed their support for the event last year, making it the first of its kind in Pakistan.
Saudi Arabia and Pakistan can learn a lot from each other if they work together. Both economies are growing, so it makes sense to work together. Certainly, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are hopeful about how this agreement could benefit them.