Pakistan on fast track of modernization
Editor's note: Cheng Xizhong, Visiting Professor at Southwest University of Political Science and Law，Special Commentator of China Economic Net, former Defense Attache in South Asian countries. The article reflects the author's opinions and not necessarily the views of China Economic Net.
Recently, especially after Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan visited China to attend the opening ceremony of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games and witnessed China's high-tech demonstration, Pakistani leaders have frequently emphasized the new concepts of digital economy, innovation economy and green economy, etc. and are determined to quickly put Pakistan on the fast track of modernization.
After independence, Pakistan's social economy has two major characteristics. One was the rapid growth of the population and now the population of the whole country has reached 221 million, which is one of the world's most populous countries. The other was the small-scale peasant economy dominated by agriculture. As a result, there has been a long-term problem of poverty. No country in the world that focuses only on agriculture can achieve modernization.
With the promotion of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), China's advanced technology has been continuing to flow into Pakistan. The operation of a number of special economic zones (SEZs) will accelerate the inflow of Chinese modern technology to Pakistan, thus paves the way for Pakistan's rapid modernization.
Pakistan enjoys a high proportion of young people and a close connection between its language and the international language of developed countries in the world. Moreover, Pakistan attaches importance to the education of the Chinese language, which is becoming more and more popular in Pakistan. These will effectively promote the seamless connection between Pakistan and the world's ever-changing scientific and technological development. Especially in the field of information technology (IT), Pakistan may give full play to its advantages.
I have noted that Pakistani President Dr Arif Alvi lately encouraged students to work hard and focus on IT learning while addressing the Presidential Initiative Artificial Intelligence and Computing (PIAIC) Grand Entrance Test 2022. The Pakistani government is extending all kinds of support to the IT sector and laws have been made to facilitate the growth of this sector.
Besides, the Pakistani government has initiated some programs such as Digital Skill Program (DSP) which is freely imparting IT education through online classes and thousands of students have benefited from this program. The government has also launched the Kamayab Jawan Program (KJP) to extend interest-free financial support for them to start entrepreneurship.
Industrialization, digitalization, modernization, innovative development and green development are the right direction of Pakistan's social and economic development, which will create a large number of job opportunities, quickly alleviate poverty, improve the well-being of the people and greatly enhance the country's comprehensive national strength.