"Made in Pakistan" portal being launched, 50,000 artisans to be brought online

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan is launching a Made in Pakistan portal where 50,000 artisans will be brought online. “In Pakistan we think development of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) is directly linked with development of cross border e-commerce,” Minister for IT said this while highlighting Pakistan’s initiatives taken to promote Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

She was addressing a round-table on the sidelines of World Economic Forum (WEF) on e-commerce: A new era for world trade, making SMBs a global force for development at Davos.

According to a message received here, she said through a comprehensive Public-Private Partnership where private sector is represented in large numbers, the government has constituted an E-Commerce Policy Board directly under stewardship of Prime Minister.

The Minister said her Ministry, along with Ministry of Commerce is coordinating this policy initiative to formulate a comprehensive E-Commerce policy framework in the country which will help small businesses reap benefits of digital technology.

However, the challenges remain and discussions like these are very welcome in finding ways to address these challenges.

“The sooner we find solutions for e-payments, infrastructure capacities, facilitative regulatory framework and credit financing for small businesses, the sooner we will provide SMBs a chance to effectively play their role in inclusive trade and development,” she added. The Minister said the answers lie in international cooperation, effective engagement and a true conviction to help the smaller and poorer of this world.

She stressed that lot of corrective measures are needed, so that global south is not treated merely as a pool of customers but given equal opportunities to offer their goods in global markets.

The Minister said, “The availability of digital platforms has eased service delivery and e-education, e-learning, e-health, e-agriculture etc are some of avenues where industry can actively work with governments.”

Anush Rahman said industry and government priorities should be synchronized and sustainable partnership models need to be operationalized under Public-Private Partnership (PPP) to achieve societal and industrial benefits.

Anusha Rehman also highlighted the initiatives undertaken by Pakistan through its Universal Service Fund (USF) to spread the ICT services across length and breadth of the country.

She also highlighted that our programmes worth billions of rupees, are targeted at provisioning ICT services, trainings to women and girls to reap benefits of economic opportunities offered by ICTs and at same time to enable them unleash their potential and become productive citizens of digital world.

The Minister while appreciating industry’s focus on digital services initiatives concluded that “It is through collective efforts of both governments and private sector to actively and positively leverage digitalization that societies can be fundamentally transformed in a sustainable way.”