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ISLAMABAD: The government has decided to constitute a Commission to be chaired by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif for national digitisation in the country.

This was stated by Minister of State for IT and Telecommunication Shaza Fatima Khawaja, who further stated that the government will do legislation for national digitisation in the country as there is a paradigm shift and needs automation for increased transparency and infrastructure development.

She further stated that mobile manufacturing and exports policy is in the final stage to increase the country’s exports.

Currently, mobile phone exports are around 0.2 million which is not enough and needs manifold increase, said the minister while addressing at an event organised by Huawei Technologies at its head office in Islamabad to commemorate World Telecom Day.

The minister said that the present government is committed to digital transformation in the country.

She said every citizen has the right having quality internet and broadband facilities, adding that in this regard steps are being taken for the provision of telecom services both in urban and rural areas of the country.

Fatima said under the National Fiberization Policy it will be tried to provide internet access to each home. We will try to give smartphone to every person under Smartphone for All Policy, she said.

She further said that the government is taking initiatives to boost the ICT sector. She said 85 projects worth Rs80 billion were awarded to expand internet access in underserved areas to bridge the digital divide through the Universal Service Fund (USF). The government wanted to end the digital divide between rural and urban areas, she maintained.

Fatima said that steps will be taken to ensure maximum mobile phones export under the Mobile Manufacturing and Export Policy.

She said the government offered thanks to the telecom industry for investment in the country, adding that the telecom industry is an important taxpayer in the micro-economy.

She said that the telecom industry has a vital role in the development of the country’s economy, adding that the government is focused on the uplift of IT and Telecom industry.

The delegation from the ministry included Chief Coordinator Baber Sheikh, Sania Zaidi Coordinator and from Huawei Management Zhangzhen - CEO Carrier Network Business Group, Ray Yushaoning - Vice CEO Public Affair, Shahzad Rasheed - CEO Cloud, Saad Talha Saeed - Director Government Affairs and Ahmed Aziz - Director Public Relations were present.

World Telecom Day is dedicated to raising awareness about the role of telecommunications in the lives of people and in the development of societies worldwide.

Fatima said World Telecom Day 2024 celebrates the power of digital innovation in advancing sustainable development and prosperity for all. “Telecommunication is the great equalizer, as we bridge the digital divide we see the powerful societal changes brought by the internet and new technologies.”

She appreciated that Huawei is dedicated to building a fully connected, intelligent world as the Government of Pakistan will continue to support Huawei in building a robust ICT talent ecosystem and accelerating the digitalisation progress.

She mentioned Pakistan has immense potential in the ICT space. World Telecom Day serves as a reminder of the importance of communication and connectivity in our increasingly digital world, she said.

Technology and telecommunication play a crucial role in bridging the gap between individuals, communities, and nations, facilitating the exchange of information, ideas, and knowledge.

Zhangzhen mentioned that in the past year, Huawei also launched the first Smart Village Project in Pakistan and powered the first National Hyper-Scale Financial Cloud, while focusing on sustainability and green solutions.

The Government of Pakistan launched the Smart Village Pakistan project to overcome the extreme disparity between the urban and rural development indicators. The first in-country Financial Cloud is contributing to economic growth and employment generation while addressing data security concerns, reducing latency and improving efficiency, and optimizing costs.

Ray Yushaoning ensured their commitment to continue to contribute to Digital Pakistan by providing the global best in AI and Cloud services, Digital Infrastructure, Smart City Solutions and Cyber security to accelerate digital economic growth. “We, at Huawei, thank you for your trust in our services and look forward to serving Pakistan to the best of our abilities.”

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024


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