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PM okays task force to form tech-driven knowledge economy

Top Story

December 5, 2018

ISLAMABAD: The government has decided to set up task force to constitute technology driven knowledge economy in the country.

Prime Minster Imran Khan has approved in principle establishment of the task force on Tuesday. The task force is being formed with an aim to carry out foresight exercises at regular intervals in order to constantly re-evaluate national priorities and put in place strategies and action plans, with delineated timelines, to build a powerful knowledge economy.

The ‘PM’s task force on technology driven knowledge economy’ would be comprising of leading scientists/engineers, representatives from private sector, federal and provincial governments. The decision was taken in a meeting with Dr Atta-ur-Rehman with the prime minster at the PMO. Dr Atta-ur-Rehman briefed the prime minister about progress on construction of Pak Austrian Fachhochschule, Haripur and progress into establishment of centre of excellence with help of China in mineral resources engineering, railway engineering and agriculture food technologies.

The premier said that building intellectual capital of the country; industrialisation and development of human capital, enhancement of value added produce along with quality management for optimisation of productivity were among the foremost priorities of the government which would hold realising the potential of the country.

He said that there exists huge potential in the youth of the country to excel and secure Pakistan’s share in medium and hi-technologies. The prime minister reiterated that the government is committed to transparency and facilitate investors and enable them take full advantage of huge potential existing in the growing economy of the country.

In the meanwhile Sigve Brekke, President & CEO of Telenor Group called on Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday. Sigve Brekke shared with the prime minister Telenor’s experience of investment in Pakistan terming as “very satisfactory”.

Sigve Brekke thanked the government of Pakistan for its continued support for the telecom sector and for encouraging foreign direct investments into the country. He said that Telenor Group has been operating in Pakistan since 2005 and has made a significant impact on the socioeconomic uplift of the country. The group has invested over $3.5bn and created over 5,000 direct jobs, in addition to hundreds of thousands of indirect jobs.

Sigve Brekke informed the prime minister that future plans of Telenor include scaling up of financial services, connecting farmers to the digital world and extending its services in the health care and digital entrepreneurship. Through these initiatives, employing ICT solutions, Telenor aims at serving the people of Pakistan even better with all the learning they have gathered during past thirteen years.

The prime minister appreciated Telenor’s contribution in the telecom sector and said that the government aims to develop a knowledge based economy in Pakistan and value Telenor as an important partner in developing the ecosystem that supports the government’s development agenda.

Yet in another meeting with Simon Milner, Vice President of Public Policy, Facebook Singapore Prime Minister Imran Khan has appreciated Facebook’s existing global outreach and efforts for building online communities towards promoting social connectivity among peoples and communities across the world.

The prime minister also acknowledged the role of Facebook and social media towards raising awareness among public on critical issues. Prime Minister Khan observed that there exists huge potential for the organisation for developing online communities within Pakistan in the field of social services, especially in promotion of community health services and raising health awareness campaigns in remote areas of the country. He underscored the need for putting in place a robust mechanism to effectively check misuse of social media in spreading fake news, violence and hate content. He said that Facebook, with its large number of subscribers, can play a significant role towards checking negative attempts that threaten our society and social values.

Simon Milner briefed the prime minister about various initiatives being taken by Facebook to create online communities, reaching out to remote communities, facilitating access to health services, garnering community responses towards disaster management and checking the misuse of social media. Special Assistants to the Prime Minister (SAPM) Zulfi Bukhari, Iftikhar Durrani and senior officials were present during the meeting.