Amazon officially enters Pakistan with web services

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SINGAPORE: Having registered a local office under the name Amazon Data Services Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd, Amazon is forming a team for Amazon Web Services (AWS) in Pakistan, to drive the adoption of cloud computing. 

The move comes two weeks after the technology company experienced a disruption worldwide, which largely impacted parts of the US and Pakistan as a whole. 

According to the SECP database, the Pakistan office is led by Paul Andrew Macpherson as the CEO while Shoaib Munir is a director along with Macpherson.

Speaking to Profit under the condition of anonymity, a spokesperson from Amazon shared that the technology leader is currently seeking a public policy specialist for Pakistan, with a focus on driving AWS cloud computing solution adoption. The role focuses on removing regulatory and political blockers to cloud adoption. 

This is a common approach among technology companies when entering small markets, with Bytedance doing the same in June by hiring Hassan Arshad as the head of public policy to work with the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) to stall a ban of the TikTok app.

As for AWS in Pakistan, the “Framework on IT Governance and Risk Management in Financial Institutions” by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) directed banks to utilise cloud computing technology under the condition that systems and service providers shall be located in Pakistan along with all physical servers and services. Under this rule, AWS would need to set up its own data center and cloud server in the country.

According to the e-commerce policy framework of Pakistan, the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication are in the process of formulating Pakistan’s first cloud policy, while the Draft Data Protection Act is at an advanced stage of consultations. The latter draft, which also concerns Amazon, addresses issues concerning data protection in e-commerce. 

AWS hopes to work with relevant government departments in Pakistan as they develop and revise policies related to the digital economy, including cloud-first policies, data protection regulations, outsourcing guidelines, cybersecurity policies, tax policy, and over the top regulations. They will also proactively build relationships with key policymakers, politicians, and influencers.