Google has registered itself with the Securities Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and opened its liaison office in the country.
A liaison office means an office of a foreign company established for the promotion of products, provision of technical advice and assistance, exploring the possibility of joint collaboration and export promotion.
According to media reports, Google has been registered as a foreign company in line with the “Removal and Blocking of Unlawful Online Content (Procedure, Oversight and Safeguards) Rules, 2021”, social media companies had to open offices in the country.
“We have recently opened a liaison office in Pakistan to explore business opportunities, better market our products and services locally and support Pakistan’s fast-growing tech ecosystem,” a spokesperson of the US tech giant said in response to a media query.
Recently, Google Country Director for Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh Farhan Siddique Qureshi said Pakistan has proven itself as a high-growth market.
Qureshi was talking to journalists at the sidelines of an event where YouTube, an online video-sharing and social media platform, hosted its first ‘Brandcast’ in Pakistan. YouTube is owned by Google.
On the other hand, Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication Syed Aminul Haque said that following the registration of Google, other social media companies will also establish their offices in Pakistan.
“TikTok will soon set up its office in Pakistan. Companies remain reluctant due to the lack of trust and inconsistent policies,” he said while maintaining that his ministry will offer complete support to foreign companies.
Pakistan’s government, as per social media rules, has made registration mandatory for companies and Google registered itself as a company in this context.
Data will be safe if Google’s server is built in Pakistan. Even now, data of all companies including social media gets stored outside Pakistan.
Pakistan is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, and its online population grew 68 per cent to 74 million in just three years. While more than 90 per cent of all companies in Pakistan are small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), they make up 40 per cent of the country’s $314 billion GDP.