Absence of digital payment platforms, such as PayPal, often results in freelancers losing opportunities
A lack of employment opportunities within Pakistan, coupled with easy access to mobile data and WiFi services, has compelled millions of people across the country to engage in freelance work. Various global digital platforms provide individuals with opportunities for employment in a wide range of sectors with employers abroad. Consequently, Pakistan is ranked as the fourth fastest-growing freelance market.
Freelancing has become the primary source of income for thousands of young graduates today. From content writing, copywriting and website development to teaching and mentoring students, freelancers perform a variety of tasks from the comfort of their homes. Despite making significant contributions to the economy, freelancers face myriad challenges daily. In a bid to empower freelancers and encourage more individuals to join the freelance workforce, the Ministry of Information has announced interest-free loans to help freelancers establish e-working centres. Many freelancers who have undergone training still struggle to acquire resources such as digital devices and workspaces. The government’s initiative aims to enhance infrastructure and create an ecosystem that fosters creativity and productivity. The initiative is a key component of the government’s broader efforts to enhance and promote the growth of Pakistan’s tech exports.
The absence of digital payment platforms, such as PayPal, often results in freelancers losing opportunities. These platforms are wary of operating in Pakistan due to rampant corruption and other illegal activities. The government is currently in discussions with PayPal and is hopeful for a positive response. It must restore confidence and ensure the integration of PayPal and other digital payment services with Pakistan’s banking system enabling them to offer their services in the country. The latest endeavour is a step in the right direction as freelancing can significantly curb Pakistan’s unemployment woes along with contributing to the economy.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 10th, 2023.
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