ISLAMABAD ( BMZ REPORT )
Chairman Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Organization Dr.Talal Abu- Ghazaleh called on Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif at PM House today.
The Prime Minister while appreciating the visit of Dr. Talal Abu-Ghazaleh to Pakistan acknowledged the substantial contributions and achievements of the Chairman, and role of his professional outfit in diverse arenas including his role in promoting ICTs for achieving sustainable development.
The Prime Minister said that Pakistan’s macro-economic stability has been achieved through prudent and sound economic policies of the present government. GDP growth has averaged more than 4% per annum in the period and reached 4.71% in the last year which is the highest in eight years; foreign exchange reserves have exceeded $24 billion, the Prime Minister highlighted. Pakistan’s investment profile has been upgraded by all leading rating agencies on account of successful economic reforms and improved security situation, the Prime Minister expressed with satisfaction.
Government of Pakistan considers ICTs as key enabler to enhance productivity, transparency, and good governance for empowering the people towards attaining the objectives set under Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Prime Minister stated. Our vision is ‘Accelerated Digitization Ecosystem’ with special emphasis on ‘Bridging Broadband Divide’ to spur socio-economic growth across the length and breadth of the country for expanding the knowledge based economy, further added the Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister said that Pakistan has a flourishing broadband internet community comprising of over 31 million users and has surpassed the growth rate of broadband users from various countries in the region. Transparent 3G/4G spectrum auctions resulted in growth of broadband penetration from less than 3% in 2014 to more than 25% at present, the Prime Minister observed.
Prime Minister highlighted the present government’s well structured and sustained policies in carrying out mega initiatives in the areas of e-government and digital services, financial inclusion, women empowerment through technology, supporting affordability of broadband telecoms, support of entrepreneurship & innovation services and for provision of world-class ICT infrastructure.
Dr.Talal Abu- Ghazaleh highly appreciated numerous socio-economic initiatives and endeavours of the government for technological advancement and lauded the vision of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif for transforming the country on modern lines. The Chairman expressed his desire of not only investing in Pakistan’s IT market as well as other diverse professional sectors including accountancy, ICT and IPR etc. but also to take Pakistan Jordan relations to next levels through promotion of bilateral collaboration at governmental level. The Prime Minister welcomed the intent of the Chairman for promotion of skilled Pakistani IT human resource.
The Prime Minister commended the initiative of TAG-Org on sustainable urbanization and smart cities development which will play an important role to achieve Post 2015 SDGs. The government will extend its fullest support and facilitation to TAG-Org for joint ventures and strategies for development and deployment of digital services in Pakistani markets for the benefit of all segments of Pakistani citizens and to achieve the SDG targets, the Prime Minister concluded.
Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar, Minister for IT & Telecom Ms. Anusha Rehman and other senior government officials were also present during the meeting.
Earlier A high level Jordanian delegation led by H.E Dr. Talal Abu Ghazaleh, Chairman, Talal Abu Ghazaleh Organization (TAG Org) called on Minister of State for IT & Telecom Mrs. Anusha Rahman here in Islamabad today. Matters pertaining to mutual interest with special focus on Information Communication Technologies were extensively discussed. Federal Secretary IT Mr. Rizwan Bashir Khan and other senior officials from MoIT were also present in the meeting.
Minister welcomed the distinguished guest and thanked him for accepting her invitation to visit Pakistan. The delegates shared some remarkable initiatives and achievements of Tag.Org with the Minister for promotion of ICTs in Jordan and other areas of the world. The Minister appreciated the role of TAG.Org in creation of new opportunities in ICTs through new business and training modules and its remarkable services rendered for the development of ICTs specially for women and girls.
Anusha Rahman shared with the delegates that our government is pursuing the agenda of “Accelerated Digitalization” with special emphasis on bridging broadband divide to spur socio economic growth across the length and breadth of the country to expend and enhance the volume of our knowledge based economy. Due to our strenuous efforts our broadband penetration ratio is surpassing 25% which was merely less than 3% earlier.
Mr. Ghazaleh stated that his organization is providing a platform to the Arabs & other Muslim countries to work on common ICT Agenda because we believe that future of the world is based on Information Technology. Therefore, we have established 1500 “Knowledge Centers” around the world for online learning in order to equip our future generation with modern technical knowledge and skills and also offered to establish a “Model Knowledge Center” here in Pakistan too.
Minister also shared some key initiatives under taken by MoIT&T for achieving gender empowerment through various projects, including “ICT for Girls. She said that ICTs program was initiated to increase the employability potential of marginalized young girls at 150 Bait-ul-Mal operated women empowerment centers. The second component of the initiative is the Microsoft’s 4C training program. Under this program, 100 master trainers have been trained, who have been further assigned to impart training to thousands of girls.
Mr. Ghazaleh appreciated the vision of the government and Minister for IT and hailed all the initiatives being carried out by the Minister of IT & Telecom for development of ICTs in the region and expressed his keenness to work with MoIT in collaboration in near future.