Govt aims to reduce digital gap between rural, urban areas

IT minister says many reforms implemented to boost tech businesses


APP September 26, 2021
The reason why Pakistan is still lagging behind is its conservative regulatory landscape, which does not cater the fintechs in the digital payments space. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD:

The government of Pakistan aims to reduce the digital divide between rural and urban communities and focus on youth empowerment as well as gender equality, said Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication Syed Aminul Haque.

Addressing the Digital Cooperation Organisation (DCO) on Saturday, the minister said that the country, in recent years, had witnessed landmark achievements in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector owing to the effective policies of the government.

The government had brought many reforms for creating a better environment for technology-based businesses in the country, he said.

The rise of digital economy, accelerated by Covid-19 pandemic, had transformed the world, but "its global potential is yet to be realised", he added.

He said, "Countries face new challenges as the global scale of the digital economy and the power of the private sector grows."

"Pakistan 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," he added.

Highlighting Pakistan's efforts towards digitisation, the minister apprised that the country had launched 'Digital Pakistan' campaign to enhance connectivity, improve digital infrastructure, increase investment in digital skills and promote innovation and entrepreneurship.

Pakistan believed in adopting emerging digital technologies to enable cross-sector socio-economic development and transformation of economic activities, governance models, social interaction and achievement of sustainable development goals, he added.

Referring to global reports, the minister said that the World Economic Forum had ranked Pakistan among the "best countries" in terms of ICT services affordability, adding that the country had been declared as the second-largest online labour supplier in software development and technology, as per the latest International Labour Organisation report.

He said that the government had a vision of accelerated digitisation and transformation of Pakistan into a knowledge-based economy to spur economic growth through innovation and entrepreneurship.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 26th, 2021.

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