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PayPal Set to Launch in Pakistan: A Game-Changer for Freelancers

PayPal is set to launch in Pakistan on January 11, 2024, in a move that will revolutionize payment systems for the country's freelancers. This follows an agreement with the government and the successful implementation of policy changes.

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Rizwan Shah
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PayPal Set to Launch in Pakistan: A Game-Changer for Freelancers

In a groundbreaking development, the Pakistani government has struck an agreement with global online payment giant, PayPal, to enable its operation within the nation. This move, described as a significant boon to the country's robust freelance community, is set to revolutionize the way payments are received and processed.

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PayPal: A New Era for Pakistan's Freelancers

PayPal's formal launch in Pakistan, slated for January 11, 2024, is expected to benefit over a million freelancers by offering a streamlined, multi-currency payment solution. This system will channel remittances through a third-party agreement, thereby bypassing the direct operation of PayPal within Pakistan. The announcement of this strategic partnership with an international payment gateway marks the culmination of steady government efforts to fulfill a long-standing demand of freelancers for efficient online payment systems.

Persistent Efforts and Policy Changes

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Prior attempts to bring PayPal to Pakistan faltered due to the company's reservations over business prospects. However, the current interim government, steered by Umar Saif, the IT and telecom minister, has managed to turn the tide. Collaborations with the State Bank and SIFC have led to crucial policy changes, enabling IT companies to retain 50% of their export revenue in dollars in local accounts. This shift has facilitated the coverage of international expenses, while also encouraging the repatriation of dollars back to Pakistan. The success of these measures is evident in the 13% increase in the country's export revenue.

Future Plans: IT Graduates and Smartphone Accessibility

Alongside PayPal's launch, the government is also charting new initiatives to bolster the IT and telecom sector. Plans are underway to provide smartphones on installment plans, thereby increasing accessibility. Additionally, standardized quality tests for IT graduates are being developed to ensure the delivery of top-notch services. The Ministry of IT and Telecom is also set to launch Pakistan’s first startup fund on January 9, 2024, with a federal allocation of Rs2 billion. Private investors and venture capitalists have pledged to match this fund, thereby injecting a fresh impetus into Pakistan's burgeoning startup ecosystem.

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