PM claims Pakistan ‘ripe’ for market innovation to secure investment

Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif addresses Future Investment Initiative Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on October 25, 2022. — PID/File

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif Tuesday said Pakistan was ripe for market innovation as the new generation of Pakistani entrepreneurs was shying away from traditional businesses and turning their focus and energies to disruptive innovations.

“I am fully prepared to invest the resources of my government in providing the young generation an enabling environment for innovation,” PM Shahbaz said while addressing the Future Investment Initiative Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The premier is in Saudi Arabia on a two-day visit to attend the “Davos in the desert” summit – an initiative of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman to expand the Kingdom’s role beyond oil in the global economy.

Urging businessmen present at the summit to invest in Pakistan’s innovative business opportunities, the premier said that despite Pakistan’s infrastructure development needs being huge, the coalition government is upgrading rails, ports, airways, water, gas, power, and digital infrastructure.

“With a young and growing population, the market is expanding. Our government is enabling private enterprises to drive the economy. The government is investing in public goods; these too are available for partnerships. I invite you all to participate in these and assist me in unlocking Pakistan’s potential while earning profitable returns on your investment,” he said.

PM proposes establishing satellite centre in Pakistan

PM Shahbaz proposed that the Future Investment Initiative should consider establishing a satellite centre in one of Pakistan’s leading universities to explore the rapidly growing Pakistani market and spur entrepreneurial innovation among our young population.

“The satellite could become the centre of a network of researchers, innovators, investors, and service providers to harness the capacities which, if optimised, would take Pakistan to a higher level of social and economic development,” he maintained.

At the outset of his address, the premier said that nothing could be of more importance than this very challenge: how to ensure that our collective tomorrow is better than our today.

“We are ready for it; we have the tools, skills and technology which enable us not just to navigate the complex world of tomorrow – but to also shape it today in a manner that has the most beneficial impact on humanity.

“We are living through truly transformational times. Throughout history, such times have triggered political, social environmental and economic changes. These changes have been powered by imagination, innovation and action. Bold, decisive and consequential action.”

‘Pakistan well positioned to harness dynamics of change’

The premier claimed that the pace of transformation and change was never as swift as it is today. With the power of technology driving the world towards a future few could imagine in the past, “we are well positioned to harness the dynamics of change.”

He further added that tech power is a great equaliser. It can cut through social, cultural and financial barriers and empower those who are equipped to leverage it. “In Pakistan, I have seen with a sense of deep satisfaction how young women and men are crafting their careers – and boosting their earning power – by using tech in the diverse fields within the larger digital matrix like e-commerce,” he maintained.

“I believe Pakistan has uniquely placed to leverage this change. We have one of the youngest populations in the world. Most of these youngsters are equipped with the tools of the new digital world…their talent is already recognised as Pakistan is the fourth most popular country for freelancing,” he added.

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