Conference highlights viable drone industry in Pakistan

Envoy says China-Pakistan collaboration to see launch of digital corridor

July 28, 2023
Russian jet collides with US drone over Black Sea: Pentagon. PHOTO: ANADOLU AGENCY


The Pakistan Embassy in Beijing hosted a China-Pakistan drone conference on Thursday, focusing on the establishment of a robust drone industry in Pakistan.

Pakistan’s Ambassador to China, Moinul Haque, emphasised the significant role unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) play in various industries, such as disaster management, smart cities, policing, and agriculture. He highlighted the economic transformation facilitated by the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a flagship project of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). CPEC has led to substantial development in infrastructure, industry, and Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in Pakistan. The ambassador further mentioned that a special working group on information technology (IT) operates under CPEC, reflecting the country’s focus on strategic infrastructure, science, technology, and emerging technologies.

The collaboration between China and Pakistan extends to the field of drones, with plans to launch the China-Pakistan digital corridor. Pakistan has already formulated a national drone policy and established the Civil Drone Regulatory Authority. The National Centre for Robotics and Automation (NCRA) in Pakistan is actively working on developing drone-related solutions and technologies through dedicated drone labs, including those for UAV dependability, swarm intelligence, agriculture statistics, and robot design and development, he said.

Chairman Yang of the World UAV Federation noted the importance of agricultural development as a key cooperation area, where drones can contribute to breeding, disease prevention, and control. This partnership in the drone industry will be beneficial to the construction of CPEC.

China’s drone industry has seen tremendous growth, providing services to over 100,000 villages, towns, and communities in 30 provinces. There are approximately 250,000 plant protection drones in operation, covering an area of more than 800 billion square meters. Analysts predict that the global urban air mobility market’s value will reach $9 trillion by 2050, and China’s drone cargo market is expected to reach around 200 billion RMB by 2024 and 3 trillion RMB by 2030.

Commercial Counsellor at the Pakistan embassy, Ghulam Qadir stressed the importance of bilateral cooperation in technology development for Pakistan. The country is organising its largest agricultural exhibition next month, providing a platform for the drone manufacturing industry to showcase products.

The conference highlights the growing collaboration between China and Pakistan in the field of drone technology, which holds immense potential for various sectors in Pakistan’s economy. As both countries continue to foster partnerships and investments in the drone industry, it is expected to serve as a catalyst for economic growth and technological advancements in the region. THE ARTICLE ORIGINALLY APPEARED ON THE CHINA ECONOMIC NET

Published in The Express Tribune, July 28th, 2023.

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