Pakistan is quickly becoming a digital-first country, which means there are new opportunities for brands to reach and engage with consumers who may have previously been overlooked. Read on for five reasons you should consider expanding your digital campaigns into Pakistan.
There’s a reason Pakistan is attracting interest from major foreign investors. With an economy powered by small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and a rapidly growing population of mobile users, the country is on track to produce one of the largest digital audiences in the world. Here’s what you need to know about the developments happening in Pakistan, and why it should be on your radar.
1. Pakistan will soon have the fifth largest population in the world
Pakistan has a population of more than 202 million people, which means there are lot of potential consumers coming online every day. And the country is even more urbanized than neighboring India, with nearly 40% of total households living in cities.
2. Entrepreneurship plays a big role in its fast-growing economy
With a current GDP at $1,641 per capita, Pakistan is expected to be the fourth fastest growing economy globally through 2030. Driven largely by SMEs (more than 90% of all companies in Pakistan are SMEs), these smaller businesses contribute 40% to the country’s $305 billion GDP.
3. The number of smartphone users is steadily increasing
Currently, there are 59 million smartphone users in Pakistan, and more than 83% of those users are on Android devices. This number will likely grow quickly as smartphone prices have dropped over the last few years. Pakistan also has some of the cheapest data prices in the world, which is helping to grow mobile app usage. YouTube captures a huge chunk of smartphone users’ attention and is the most-used online video streaming platform among millennials.1
4. Pakistan’s internet penetration is nearing a tipping point
Pakistan’s overall internet penetration stands at 22% with 44.6 million users. In spite of this, digital consumption in the country continues to grow quickly. YouTube watch time, for example, has seen over 60% growth over the last three years.2
5. China invests heavily in Pakistan’s development
The Chinese-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is the largest Chinese investment in a foreign country (valued at $62 billion). One of the first CPEC projects is to lay 820 kilometers of fiber-optic cable, connecting more Pakistanis to the internet. This is in addition to ongoing investments in 3G and 4G network expansions from China Mobile — the company has already announced plans to invest another $225 million in 4G expansion (bringing its total investment to $2.4 billion).
How you can make an impact on Pakistan now
Leaving your mark on Pakistan now is crucial, and you can start by reaching out to the SME audience to help them scale. As interest in the country increases, infrastructure investments will minimize barriers to internet access and data speed — pushing more people into the digital space and presenting endless opportunities for your brand.