In a recent meeting, the President Pakistan China Joint Chamber of Commerce & Industry SM Naveed has said that the involvement of technology leaders was a must for Pakistan to produce research-backed products in the market.
According to the national media reports, Mr. Naveed added that for this, Pakistan can take the help of the Chinese model, which promotes the indulging of academics and technocrats in the production facilities.
This was said in a zoom meeting with a five-member Chinese delegation from Jinan technology University China headed by Zhang Shoufeng while other members included Zhang Xiuhong, Xiao Jing, Zhang Min, and Wang Li.
During this meeting, proactive suggestions and proposals were shared where the participants agreed upon the need to incentivize international cooperation was recognized, as it would enable Pakistani industries to adapt to the latest efficient running of businesses and factories.
Speaking at the meeting, Mr. Li said that using the platform of PCJCCI, the parties are planning to form partnerships with international technology leaders, which would, in turn, provide opportunities to young scholars, and incentivize them to initiate new startups and spearhead the innovation in Pakistan.
There was a consensus that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would act as a perfect catalyst to help Pakistan achieve its innovation and economy-related goals.
Mr. Wang Li reportedly added that Pakistan had to work in improving its perception internationally if it is to make the country attractive for international partners, incentivizing people to visit and invest in the country.
Senior Vice President PCJCCI Daud Ahmed informed the delegation about the plans to form science and technology parks that were much needed to eliminate the digital divide between China and Pakistan.
He added that the cooperation of Chinese technology universities and innovative technology leaders was important to the formation of such specific projects.
Mr. Khalid Raffique Choudhry, Vice President PCJCCI seconded the idea shared by Wang Li and said that another purpose of their visit was to stretch the bilateral relations with Pakistan beyond manufacturing and into the realm of knowledge sharing.
Mr. Choudhry said that in order to achieve innovation, the Pakistani government must work to improve the quality of research being conducted in the existing universities by giving them higher resources.
Adding into this lack of Research and Development, the secretary-general of PCJCCI said that even though the number of PHDs was rising arithmetically, the knowledge and production platform do not collaborate.
Thus, he agreed that the cooperation between the two sectors was key to bring innovation to the Pakistani industrial sector.
Also, it must be mentioned that similar discussions took place in 2019, where then Advisor to Prime Minister on Finance Abdul Hafeez Sheikh said to incorporate the Chinese model of development, Pakistan needs to invest in its R & D (Research and Development) sectors.
Mr. Sheikh had also invited companies, investors, and partners around the globe to invest in the CPEC projects and cleared that CPEC is not limited to China and Pakistan.
Among the many initiatives taken, the incumbent government is also working on a plan to form Special Technology Zones all over the country. Chairman STZA Amir Hashmi has claimed that this initiative could be equivalent to CPEC in terms of a strategic game-changer for Pakistan.
He revealed in March 2020 that it is a step to get a $15 billion share in a $5 trillion IT market globally. The plan is to set up 60 STZs all around the country.
On 31st May, prime minister Imran Khan said, that the promotion of technology and innovation in the country is one of the top priorities of the government.
Chairing the meeting of the Board of Governors of Special Technology Zones Authority in Islamabad, he had once again reiterated his government’s commitment to providing all possible facilities to investors for profitable business activities in the country.
He directed for timely completion of the establishment of Islamabad Special Technology Zone, and the Special Technology Zone Rules 2021 were also approved in this meeting.