Workshop: Future for High-Tech Industry Development in Pak

Organized by

South Asian Strategic Stability Institute (SASSI) &

The Center for International Trade and Security (CITS)

University of Georgia, USA

 7th -9th December, 2010

Conference Report

 

High technological trade is one of the fastest rising trends in contemporary era. This rise is evident from current trends in global trade where developed nations are continuously enhancing and modernizing themselves in the fields of nuclear technology, nuclear fuel cycles, strategic dual use technologies, nanotechnology, telecommunications, medicines, agriculture, and industrial infrastructure. Pakistan, having realized the importance of high-tech trade and industry, is trying to follow the same line as a blue print for its success and development. As a result, Pakistan is developing a high-tech trade and industry sector is currently working as the most effective and dynamic driver towards the resurgence of Pakistan’s economy. Its performance is remarkable, particularly regarding the generation of outputs and income, yet certain technological and legislative barriers, that hinderPakistan’s struggle to move out of the list of third world countries, need to be dealt with sincere focus, consistent efforts and international cooperation in its true essence.

To meet these objectives, South Asian Strategic Stability Institute (SASSI) organized a three day workshop on “Future of High-Tech Development in Pakistan” which was aimed at highlighting Pakistan’s existing and future potentials regarding High-Tech Industry as well as trade. The workshop was organized to serve as a viable platform for exposing Pakistan’s industrial sector to the international economic community and to communicate to the world that Pakistanis open to; in fact it looks forward to international cooperation and collaboration in the realm of high-tech development. Pakistan’s economy has flourished greatly and today it is ranked the 29th largest economy in the world, with tremendous potential to grow at a much faster pace, if provided access to Global High-Tech market. Main goal of the workshop was to bring together the major Think Tanks, Experts from around the world as well as Government Officials and Specialists from International and National Organizations to work together on the evolving trends in High-Tech trade, International and National export control laws & mechanisms and to explore new opportunities for the development of Pakistan’s High Tech industry.

Speakers at the workshop emphasized that Pakistan should be given access to the international high-tech market; that small industries should be incorporated, both structurally and functionally into big/heavy industrial sector, both at national and international levels; arms embargoes and other economic sanctions imposed on Pakistan, must be lifted or at least modified after critical reconsideration of their adverse impacts on the economic growth  and technological advancement of Pakistan; lastly it was proposed in the workshop that people from different fields be brought together under one common agenda, for making practical contributions towards ensuring a developed and sustainable high-tech industry in Pakistan, most important of  which are the traders, industrialists, scientists and policy makers.

The core objective of the workshop was to spread awareness regarding the importance of High-Tech industry at present as well as in the near future. Speakers from Pakistan’s side highlighted the need for technological development as a pre requisite for fulfilling Pakistan’s aspirations of becoming a member of the group of industrially advanced countries. The speakers emphasized that development of technology is necessary and mandatory for industrialization, energy growth, exploration, and mapping and mining of natural resources. It was proposed at the workshop that Information and Communication Technologies are needed to sustain an indigenous High Tech manufacturing industry; for transportation, avionics, defence and space applications, health, agriculture and natural and applied sciences amongst others. Such technologies are also needed for protection, development and exploitation of Pakistan’s national assets.

The representatives from Industrial sector and Chambers of Commerce highlighted three important and essential ingredients needed for high-tech development inPakistan. These include: Skill Development and Support for Research, Information & Communication Technology (ICT) Infrastructure & Technology Readiness and Transfer of Innovative technology to Industry. This workshop was attended by the Minister for Information and Broadcasting Mr. Syed Samsam Ali Bukhari, Officials from Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Heads of Chambers of Commerce, Officials from Strategic Plans Division (SPD), Scientists and Engineers from Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC), Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences (PIEAS), Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority (PNRA), National Defense University (NDU), and Quaid-e-Azam University (QAU). In addition renowned Scholars, Senators, Politicians and more than 40 Diplomats also attended the workshop.