Pakistan to capitalize on low Banking Penetration through digital technology: Shaikh Shariq
By Zafar Hussain
BEIJING, Dec 12 (Gwadar Pro) – Pakistan will capitalize on low banking penetration through digital technology, which has great potential for growth in line with the national financial inclusion strategy, said Shaikh Muhammad Shariq, Vice President of the National Bank of Pakistan while addressing a special conference on the innovation & development of the SCO driven by the digital economy.
The participants of Shanghai Cooperation Organization members attended the conference and were committed to increasing collaboration between SCO members in digital economy.
The Chief Representative of NBP in Beijing Shaikh Shariq said that in Pakistan, mobile connectivity is advancing the digital transformation of industries and facilitating the development of new solutions in different areas, and simplifying commercial transactions and remittances between individuals and organizations.
“Pakistan is home to more than 300,000 IT professionals, produces over 25,000 IT graduates annually, and has nurtured over 700 tech start-ups since 2010. Technology exports have grown 15% per year and are expected to reach $3.5 billion in 2022. Pakistan’s online population has grown rapidly and internet penetration is reaching 54% this year” Shaikh added.
He further said that Pakistan introduced its first ‘Digital Pakistan policy’ back in 2018. The primary aim of this policy was to bolster the IT industry by building a digital ecosystem, aiming to enhance connectivity, improve digital infrastructure, increase investment in digital skills and promote innovation, high-tech and entrepreneurship.
“Pakistan’s digital transformation could generate up to Rs. 9.7 trillion ($ 54.86 billion) in annual economic value by 2030. Pakistan is one of the youngest countries in the world (about 60 percent of its population is 15 to 29 years old). IT and IT-enabled industry have the potential to overtake the agriculture and manufacturing sectors in exports”, he mentioned.
Shaikh said that the Special Technology Zones Authority (STZA), is also established, to provide legislative and institutional support for the development of the national technology sector that will harness Pakistan’s IT potential and set the country on the trajectory of an entrepreneurial, innovative, and tech-driven future for shared prosperity & inclusive growth.
“We have 152 Million mobile phone subscribers in Pakistan, mobile wallets reach more than 35 million. Agro-tech is also required to improve yield, efficiency & profitability. Robotics is also a budding industry, and many private corporations, colleges, newly established organizations, and consultants are contributing. Other areas include Bio-tech, travel-tech, IoT & automation”, he said.
He invited all the enterprises to invest in Pakistan and the National Bank of Pakistan will provide maximum facilitation.