Digital economy vital for sustainable development: Ahsan Iqbal
Ahsan Iqbal on Digital economy
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Digital economy vital for sustainable development: Ahsan Iqbal

Federal Minister for Planning Development & Special Initiatives (MoPDSI) Prof Ahsan Iqbal on Monday shed light on the importance of growing the digital economy, termed digital economy is vital to ensure sustainable development of the country.

The Minister made these remarks while speaking at the panel discussion titled: “Industrialization & Digital Era Connectivity,” organized by the China International Development Cooperation Agency in Beijing on Monday. It is noted that Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal is on a four-day official visit to China to attend a special commemorative 12th Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) to be held on July 11 to mark the 10-year celebrations of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The CPEC enters a significant milestone as it celebrates a decade of remarkable achievements in fostering economic growth, infrastructure development, and regional connectivity. While highlighting the importance of ‘Industrialization & Digital Era Connectivity,’ the Planning Minister said that industrialization and digital-era connectivity have transformed the world as both have brought unprecedented opportunities for progress, economic growth, and global connectivity. However, he emphasized the harmonization in digital policies and standards by stronger collaboration through multilateral forums.

The Planning Minister said that digital connectivity has revolutionized communication and collaboration in industrial sectors. The E-commerce platforms and online marketplaces enable businesses to reach customers worldwide, expanding their customer base and opportunities for growth, explained the Minister, while highlighting E-Pakistan, an important E of the 5Es framework which was launched recently by the Planning Ministry.

Furthermore, he highlighted that digital connectivity has provided businesses with the ability to access larger markets beyond their immediate geographical boundaries. The digital era has generated massive amounts of data through various sources, including production processes, customer interactions and market trends, said the Minister, who recently established a Steering Committee comprising experts from IT and private sector for the implementation of digital transformation and to increase digital exports in the country.

Similarly, the Minister, said that the combination of industrialization and digital connectivity has opened up new avenues for innovation and entrepreneurship. The startups and small businesses can leverage digital platforms and technologies to reach global markets and disrupt traditional industries, remarked the minister, while highlighting the key initiatives which was taken by the government which include establishment of National Centers in Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity, automation & Robotics, Big Data & Cloud Computing, Quantum Computing and Nanotechnology.

While highlighting the unremarkable contributions of China in the field of industrialization, the Minister said that developing nations can draw several lessons from China’s experience with industrialization and digital-era connectivity. “China has undergone remarkable economic growth and technological advancements, making it a valuable example for developing countries,” remarked the Minister. It is noted that China’s industrialization journey was supported by substantial investment in infrastructure, including transportation networks, energy systems and telecommunications. Pakistan is greatly benefiting from infrastructure development under CPEC to improve its connectivity within the country and facilitate industrial growth, he added.

Related: Ahsan Iqbal inaugurates the HEC Funded Mega Projects at UoE

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