ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information Technology Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui has said that the government will allocate a piece of land in Haripur, Hazara to telecom companies for setting up mobile manufacturing plants.
Speaking at the Huawei Mobile Pakistan Summit, the IT minister said the government had discussed with some telecom companies including Huawei the setting up of mobile manufacturing plants in Pakistan. “Land has been identified near Haripur for establishing such plants,” he said.
The minister emphasised that the government wanted to digitalise Pakistan, which would require 0.2 million graduates having expertise in modern technology over the next few years.
Saying that mobile would become an important tool in banking and education in the future, he revealed that the cyber security policy was ready and authority would be set up under the policy.
Talking to journalists, the IT minister said they were against any unconstitutional act and opposed the imposition of emergency in Sindh. He called any change in the cabinet part of the routine, which could take place any time.
Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said the government had decided to set up Media Technology University in order to impart innovative skills in the media industry. He stressed that information technology had played a key role in socio-economic development and changed the entire economic scenario. However, it has taken away many jobs and the challenge is how to save these jobs.
“Digital advertising has taken over traditional advertising and several offices of media organisations have closed down because of this change,” the minister said. He pointed out that Huawei was spending $14.5 billion on research and development, which was more than half of Pakistan’s exports, and the company was also working in Pakistan to promote the technology. He ruled out any change in portfolios of ministers, saying that Prime Minister Imran Khan had powers to change the portfolios. He also dismissed talk of change in the portfolio of Finance Minister Asad Umar.
The minister emphasised that the government was taking bold decisions and the economy was on the right path, adding the affairs relating to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) were also moving in the right direction.
Huawei Vice President Middle East Sunxiaofeng said 5G was coming this year which would change society, adding that new layers of the telecom network would reduce the cost for telecom operators. He stressed that Huawei was committed to providing a secure network and cooperating with the regulator. The company has invested in Pakistan and created 25,000 jobs.
Embassy of China Economic and Commercial Counsellor Wang Zhihua said Pakistan and China had an economic cooperation framework and more companies had expressed interest in investing in Pakistan.
“In the PTI government, they were interested in enhancing cooperation in the hi-tech sectors,” he remarked.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 16th, 2019.
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