Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication Dr. Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui has wrapped up a successful and fruitful visit to Barcelona, Spain where he attended GSMA-Mobile World Congress-2019 from February 25-28.
Federal Minister for IT & Telecom Dr. Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui who was recently on a visit to Barcelona, Spain attended the GSMA Ministerial Programme and the Mobile World Congress for 2019.
After assuming the office this was the maiden and a vital visit in which the IT & Telecom Minister intended to gauge Pakistan’s current standings in the ICT sector considering latest technological developments, cultivate new avenues and opportunities for bringing foreign investments to Pakistan and engage with global ICT policymakers and regulators for understanding the best practices for evolving the ICT sector of Pakistan on international pace and standards.
During the three-day visit, Dr. Siddiqui met with Ministers/Senior Administrators of other Governments, CEOs of Global Tech Firms and Senior Officials of Multilateral Policy Making Organizations and exchanged his views about the potential of Pakistan’s ICT sector and the overall market. The Minister highly emphasized on the fact that in a population of 210 million people more than 70% of the population of the country is young and the majority of them are digitally literate which offers a great opportunity in terms of consumers, skilled human capital for supporting their businesses locally and internationally and for cultivating new avenues.
While visiting the local IT Companies at Ministry of IT & Telecom, Government of Pakistan (PSEB) supported booth at the MWC-19 event, he met with the CEOs of local tech firms and appreciated their products/solutions and assured them the support of the government in expanding the IT export footprint of the country. He also directed his team to present to him with a larger inclusion plan for IT Companies of Pakistan through a National Level Exhibition for IT/Tech Firms through the support of Government, so that larger international community could visit Pakistan and provide with more opportunities to the local tech industry which they duly deserve.
On Feb 25, 2019, the Ambassador of Pakistan to Spain, Mr. Khayyam Akbar along with Counsel General of Pakistan in Barcelona, Mr. Imran Ali invited Dr. Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui the Federal Minister for IT & Telecom to Pakistani consulate where Mr. Akbar briefed the Minister about the potential of MWC event and potential avenues in ICT sector in Spain. The Ambassador assured his highest support to the Minister for cultivating new investment and export opportunities for ICT sector in Pakistan.
The Minister also met with Mr. Steven Yi, Senior Vice President of the Middle East and Africa of Huawei and requested them to expand their footprint in Pakistan and develop their regional support center. During the discussion, Huawei Management apprised the Minister about their current operations in the country and further expressed their desire to expand its regional operations from Pakistan to support local and regional operations, which will create new job opportunities in the country.
In another meeting with the Global CEO of VMWare Mr. Pat Gelsinger, opportunities of bilateral interest were discussed in which Dr. Siddiqui expressed his desire for VMWare to invest in the human capital development in Pakistan and train them on their latest technologies and solutions, which was accepted by Mr. Gelsinger and he agreed to actively participate in such initiatives where they can develop highly skilled and certified professionals.
In a meetup with Mr. Ben Zhou, Group CEO of Whale Cloud (Alibaba Group Company) at Together Summit – Beyond Borders, where the Dr. Siddiqui was invited as Chief Guest, has valued recent investments made by Alibaba Group in Pakistan’s ICT Sector and requested them to enhance their footprint in the country considering the market size and potential. He further added that considering the operating size of Whale Cloud and its expansion plans, they may consider developing Pakistan as their regional support center and R&D hub, which was acknowledged by Mr. Zhou and he promised to seriously consider this opportunity.
Apart from the meetings with Global Tech firms, the Minister also met with the Group CEO of Telenor Mr. Sigve Brekke and Mr. Kjell Morten Johnson the Group Chief Operating Officer of Veon in separate meetings in which areas of bilateral interest regarding the improvement of telecom sector services and renewal of licensing were discussed.
On the final day of the event, Dr. Siddiqui paid a visit to the Sehat Kahani booth at Innovation City. The Founder of this Pakistani Startup Dr. Iffat briefly presented their initiative which is mainly offering nursing and medical consultation services to the impoverished and underserved areas of the country using state of the art application.
The IT Minister highly praised the challenging work undertaken by the young women and termed them as role model for the industry and assured them support for taking this initiative to all corners of the country.