OICCI Makes Recommendations for Digital Transformation
The Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) unveiled the OICCI’s Recommendations on National Program for Digital Transformation report at a media launch with senior journalists in Islamabad today. OICCI members, who are top 200 foreign investors belonging to 35 countries including 50 Fortune 500 companies, have shared their international experience and expertise in presenting a concise analysis of the current digital landscape and recommended forward looking specific action plan to fast track Pakistan to a respectable level of digital transformation. The report has already been presented to Prime Minister and some senior federal ministers during a meeting on December 9.
Mr. Irfan Wahab Khan, President OICCI, while commenting on the Digital Transformation recommendations, said, “The advancements in digital technology are inspiring innovation globally. Being amongst the fastest growing mobile markets in the world, Pakistan has immense potential to become a global leader in digital innovation. Presently many businesses and individuals are creating applications and solutions that are helping accelerate economic growth. If an enabling environment is created through the implementation of the policy recommendations provided in this report, we believe the economic and social impact will be unparalleled.”
He added, “The OICCI Digital recommendations have the potential to significantly uplift the socioeconomic well-being of the citizens and generate more than 5 million direct and indirect job opportunities in the country, while at the same time increasing our GDP by USD 40-50 billion annually by 2025.”
The OICCI Digital report recommends the urgency for creating a digital-friendly ecosystem to empower and enable digital entrepreneurship among the youth of Pakistan who are equipped with a digital skill set. The countries that have embraced the digital revolution have taken action to integrate innovative technologies at all levels of society and the economy and enjoy higher productivity, accelerated growth and enhanced quality of life for their citizens compared to other countries.
Besides business use, the use of automation and technology in governance, the OICCI report claims, is bringing significant rewards to the society and countries as is also recorded in the rapid growth of few countries, versus others in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business and other similar competitive measures used to judge the attractiveness of a country for investment and business growth potential. The OICCI report provides various living example of digitization contributing towards the socio economic development benefiting the larger population in many countries especially in Europe and Asia.
“The timing of our recommendations is motivated by the belief that Pakistan is on the radar of all leading foreign investors. Fast adoption of digital services will help build knowledge economy and is critical for the expected growth strategy for Pakistan,” Irfan Wahab Khan added. He has urged the authorities and other stakeholders interested in taking Pakistan to the next level of development to seriously engage with the relevant stakeholders and fast track the implementation of the proposed digital growth plan needed for “Naya Pakistan”.
The OICCI report presents recommendations covering 12 different areas:
1. Implement telemedicine in public sector health units
2. Introduce distance learning (e-education) to public sector educational institutes
3. Impart digital skills to the workforce
4. Improve financial inclusion for people at the bottom of the pyramid
5. Digitalize agriculture sector
6. Enable digital entrepreneurship
7. Extend the reach of broadband services
8. Transform public services through “digital government”
9. Deploy public cloud and introduce open data
10. Adopt Artificial Intelligence (AI) for sustainable development
11. Implement a comprehensive national cybersecurity policy by adopting a risk-based approach
12. Establish a national center for development of blockchain technologies
The OICCI President in conclusion mentioned, “The proposed Digital Plan recommendations aim to gradually transform the digital landscape of Pakistan by reducing socioeconomic inequalities, help create an ecosystem for use of technology in all segments of the economy including agriculture and more importantly encourage a move towards a smart government by benefiting from Cloud as an enabler to Digital Government. The report also makes certain policy recommendations for ensuring a sound infrastructure through Artificial Intelligence and Block Chain.”