Caretaker Federal Minister of Information Technology and Telecommunication, Dr Umar Saif, discussed digital collaboration aimed to enhance Pakistan’s global image through the “Digital Pakistan” initiative during sideline meetings with international organizations and global leaders. The minister is currently participating in the World Economic Forum held in Davos, Switzerland, from January 15 to 19, according to a news release. Accompanying the minister is a delegation, including the Chairman of the Pakistan Software Houses Association (P@SHA) Zohaib Khan and representatives from the Special Investment Facilitation Center (SIFC). The IT delegation’s focus is to showcase the progress made by SIFC, including the 50% dollar retention policy for IT companies, the activation of the Special Technology Zones Authority (STZA) through the appointment of its board of governors, and the introduction of Pakistan’s First Space Policy, opening up new opportunities in the country’s space sector. The delegation primarily engages in bilateral meetings with representatives from various countries on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum. Global leaders, including Pakistan’s Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar and other prominent figures, are expected to attend the event. During these meetings, Dr Umar Saif highlighted efforts to introduce the “Digital Pakistan” brand at an international level and expressed the desire to foster collaboration between Pakistan and various international entities. In a meeting with the Secretary-General of the Digital Cooperation Organization, Deemah Al Yahya, discussions centred on digital cooperation, emphasizing the potential benefits of such collaborations. Bilateral talks with Qatar’s IT Minister, Mohammed bin Ali bin Mohammed Al Mannai, and Rwanda’s Minister of Communication, Paula Ingabire, explored opportunities for mutual cooperation. A significant development is the expected collaboration between Pakistan’s Startups Fund and counterparts in various countries, focusing on joint initiatives in cloud services. Dr Umar Saif’s visit included a tour of Google’s headquarters, where discussions with Vice President Behshad Behzadi delved into conversations about Generation AI technology. The minister said that he visited the Google House at Davos to explore the latest advancements in Google Generative AI technology. A mutual agreement on the dual use of artificial intelligence at both government and private levels in Pakistan was established, aiming for better utilization of AI resources. Dr Umar Saif mentioned that collaborative projects between Pakistan’s Ministry of IT and Google are already underway, with a commitment to enhancing cooperation in information and communication technology. Emphasizing collaboration between the Digital Cooperation Organization (DCO) countries and Google, Dr Umar Saif expressed readiness to explore every possible avenue for cooperation in information and communication technology.—APP

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