Government committed to reduce digital divide between rural and urban communities: IT Minister Syed Amin Ul Haque

Islamabad, September 25, 2021 (PPI-OT):Federal Minister for IT and Telecommunication Syed Amin Ul Haque has said the government is committed to reduce digital divide between rural and urban communities and focuses on youth empowerment and gender equality. The Federal Minister for IT was addressing the Digital Cooperation Organization (DCO) virtual meeting here. He said that the Government of Pakistan brought many reforms for creating a better environment for tech-based businesses in the country.

Due to the effective policies of the present government, Pakistan witnessed landmark achievements in the ICT sector in recent years, he added. The Digital Cooperation Organization held a forum along-side the UN General Assembly, inviting the Ministers from all the 7 member Countries.

The aim of the event was to discuss the role of the DCO in building an inclusive digital age within which more nations can prosper. Ministers from all 7 Founder Member Countries Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Nigeria Oman and Saudi Arabia including Pakistan attended the meeting while Ms. Maria-Francesca Spatolisano, Assistant Secretary General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs, of UN also joined the session.

IT Minister Amin Ul Haque further said that the rise of digital economy, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, transformed our world, but its global potential is yet to be fully realized. Countries face new challenges as the global scale of the digital economy and the power of private sector actors grows.

“Digital Cooperation Organization has emerged as one of the most promising collaborative forums to promote digital partnerships among like-minded countries”, he added. “Being a founding member of DCO, the Government of Pakistan fully endorses that DCO is actively pursuing its vision of achieving social prosperity and growth of the digital economy by unifying efforts to advance the digital transformation agenda and promote common interests of the member states”, IT Minister said.

Syed Amin Ul Haque highlighted the efforts of Pakistan towards digitization and said that under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan, Pakistan has re-energized its digital transformation journey with the launch of Digital Pakistan that aims to enhance connectivity, improve digital infrastructure, increase investment in digital skills, promote innovation, and technology entrepreneurship.

Government of Pakistan strongly believes in mass adoption of emerging digital technologies and innovative applications to enable cross-sector socio-economic development and transformation of economic activities, governance models, social interaction, and achievement of sustainable development goals, Amin Ul Haque said.

He mentioned that Pakistan has been named one of the fastest growing economies in Asia in McKinney and Co’s latest report on the Pakistani ecosystem. During the fiscal year 2020-21, Pakistan’s IT exports increased 47.4 percent and crossed the $ 2 billion mark for the first time in the country’s history.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) ranked Pakistan among the best countries in terms of the affordability of ICT services, while according to latest ILO report, Pakistan has been as the 2nd largest supplier of online labour in software development and technology. Pakistan substantially improved its position in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business report.

The IT Minister said that the government has a vision of accelerated digitization and transformation of Pakistan into a knowledge based economy to spur economic growth through innovation and entrepreneurship. Ministry of IT and Telecom, launched a program to build a network of National Incubation Centers. It has successfully established 5 National Incubation Centers (NIC) in Federal Capital and all Provincial Capitals of the Country, inducting 440+ promising Start-ups.

“A strategic plan and roadmap for 5G technology in Pakistan is also being formulated keeping in view the aspects of Spectrum Management, Infrastructure Development, Review of Telecom Regulations and 5G applications/use cases”, he added. Syed Amin Ul Haque further said that the DCO provides an ideal platform for Pakistan and other countries to learn from each other by working together and collaborate at the regional level, which has significant impact across the globe.

He thanked to UN and DCO for organizing this session and invite UN member countries to join hands with DCO to achieve shared goal of digital transformation and promoting joint initiatives to leverage ICT potential for the socio-economic growth.

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