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ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication Syed Amin Ul Haque Sunday said that Pakistan is committed to working for affordable internet, universal, meaningful connectivity, and close global and regional cooperation.

Addressing “The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Plenipotentiary Conference (PP-22) Ministerial Roundtable Conference held in Bucharest “Romania”, he said that Pakistan is a country with a 220 million population and 64% of youth under the age of 30 and the government is ready to bet all the resources and efforts on country’s future. “A future which ensures inclusive, universal and sustainable Digital Growth,” he added.

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Plenipotentiary Conference (PP-22)’s highest policy-making body, meets once every four years to set the Union’s general policies, adopt the four-year strategic and financial plans, and elect the senior management team of the organization, the Member States of the Council, and the members of the Radio Regulations Board.

The government of Pakistan, he said, through its Universal Services Fund (USF) initiative is running diverse Telecom Infrastructure and Services programs that are playing a pivotal role in providing high-speed internet to unserved, underserved and hardest-to-connect communities said a news release received here on Sunday.

The minister said, the subsidy-driven programs are accelerating Digital Transformation and are empowering the marginal communities to ease into the digital ecosystem, with particular emphasis on gender inclusivity.

Amin said, “last 4 years have been our busiest with respect to USFs outreach. We have only contracted 79 new projects worth 266+ Million USD to provide coverage to ~28 million people in this period.”

The minister also informed the participants that the government of Pakistan also intends to provide not only a conducive environment but to drive both the demand and supply sides of the ecosystem, hence creating an image of a globally competitive and prosperous country that provides a high-quality life for all its citizens.

As part of our digital transformation journey, he said, the government is targeting an ambitious slogan “Smartphone for All”.

He said that Pakistan is also implementing a comprehensive smart government ecosystem, which is helping to consolidate the country’s resources and efforts for achieving public service delivery, efficiently and effectively.

He said that Pakistan has a strong vision to empower talented youth by providing opportunities where they can embark on entrepreneurship as a career.

For this purpose, the government of Pakistan is providing an enabling environment to talented youth by establishing tech-based National Incubation Centers (NIC) across the country, he added.

He said that last year, the Pakistani startup space caught the global attention of renowned investors and VC firms and attracted the record highest-ever investments with a 275 % increase.

The minister said Pakistan is aware of the challenges of fast-tracking the digital Ecosystem for remote societies. “Our resolve is our unwavering determination to see these marginal communities stand shoulder to shoulder with the rest of the world” he added.

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