Pakistan, China agree to cooperate on IT

By Waseem Khan | Gwadar Pro Sep 25, 2021

Top officials from China and Pakistan have agreed to work jointly in the area of information technology.

Pakistan’s Planning and Development Minister Asad Umar apprised the media of decisions taken in the high-level meeting of the 10th Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) at a press conference.

The minister said a Memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed in the meeting for the establishment of a joint working group on the information technology industry.

He said it was the most exciting development coming out of JCC as both countries have a lot to share in this area. He said China’s technology is one of the most advanced in the world. On the other hand, Pakistani youth is also talented in the area of IT and Pakistan’s IT exports have crossed US$2 billion last year with a growth of 47% y-o-y.

The MoU of the Joint Working Group on IT is being signed between the Ministry of IT & Telecom of Pakistan and the Ministry of Industry, Information & Technology of China. This JWG will help in creating an outstanding opportunity for Pakistani youth to contribute significantly to the advancement of Pakistan through Information and Communication Technologies. It will further enable and bring innovators, industry, and the relevant government entities for Ease of Doing Business on a unified platform to discuss issues and opportunities relating to the Information & Communication Technology (ICT) sector in Pakistan and to showcase the efforts and initiatives being taken by the government for uplifting the sector.

The IT-JWG will also complement the vision of “Digital Pakistan”. The projects under IT JWG will strengthen the Artificial Intelligence (AI) paradigm and further stimulate new avenues in Internet of Things (IoT), Smart Govt, Smart & Safe Cities, and Smart Homes. Furthermore, this will also facilitate the launching of 5G technology in Pakistan.

The magnitude of youth in Pakistan (where 63% of the population is between the age of 15 to 33 years) combined with the internet revolution will transform the country into a knowledge-based economy. Therefore, it is necessary to harness these global technological advancements with an expeditious approach for improving peoples' livelihood.

The Minister was accompanied by Special Assistant to Prime Minister on CPEC Affairs Khalid Mansoor during the press conference. Mansoor also informed journalists on the progress in CPEC projects so far.

While talking about China Pakistan ties, Asad Umar said more than half of the country's foreign direct investment was from China. He said China is a very special friend of Pakistan and it was very difficult to find a friend like China.

The Minister said both China and Pakistan agreed that the security of CPEC and Chinese nationals in Pakistan is of utmost importance. He said a special cell was set up in the interior ministry to ensure the security of all foreigners in Pakistan.

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