ISLAMABAD - Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication, Anusha Rehman on Thursday emphasised upon the countries to be prompted in decision making regarding policies and regulations so as to get maximum benefits of technology which is advancing at very fast pace.

The minister, who attended Ministerial Roundtables and key events as a speaker and panelist in E-Commerce week in Geneva, Switzerland, said in order to get maximum benefits from 4th Industrial Revolution for humanity new approaches have to be undertaken. The theme of the Week was “Development Dimensions of Digital Platforms” and is being organised by United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) on special invitation extended by Secretary General UNCTAD.

The event is taking place at United Nations Headquarters in Geneva from April 16-20 to discuss growing role of digital platforms and concrete steps to harnessing these evolving technologies for sustainable development, said a message received here. During ministerial roundtable on “Advancing Women’s Digital Opportunity,” she highlighted development opportunities and challenges associated with evolving digital economy.

She also emphasized that women’s economic empowerment is at the heart of sustainable development and essential to achieve gender equality, poverty eradication and inclusive economic growth.

Anusha Rehman shared initiatives steered by Ministry of IT in this regard, particularly Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for Girls programme.

In the high-level dialogue, the global leaders agreed that digital platforms are increasingly used by people and enterprises, for various objectives which facilitate e-commerce, online and mobile payments as well as social interaction. The minister opined that advent of technology in many developing countries has come as a revolution and not as an evolution, therefore, there is a need that governments along with private sector showcase how technology could be used for socio-economic development and not used as just social media platforms.

As part of the event, the minister also participated as a speaker and panelist in a high-profile workshop – “An E-commerce Agenda for Development: Revisiting Friends of E-commerce Development (FEDs) Roadmap.”

The participants shared views on impact the FED Roadmap has had on their efforts to create effective public policies addressed to promote an e-Commerce environment that maintains development at its essence.

Anusha Rehman highlighted efforts and contribution which government has made to further uptake of e-commerce utility and platforms in Pakistan for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

An e-commerce portal (Pak Portal) is being launched by Ministry of IT and Telecom which will serve as a platform to provide direct access to markets, using digital e-commerce platform, Made in Pakistan.

In a bilateral meeting with Secretary General UNCTAD, the minister reflected upon achievements of Pakistan in arena of ICT and future plans for continued growth in this sector to enable transformation into “Digital Pakistan.”

She also held bilateral meeting with President of World Economic Forum (WEF) Borge Brende and discussed opportunities for mutual collaboration, especially on issues related to ICTs and cyber governance.

The minister attended a reception hosted by Permanent Mission of Pakistan to the United Nations and other international organizations in Geneva to introduce Pakistan’s candidature for election of International Telecommunication Union Council.

The reception was attended by a large number of ambassadors, permanent representatives and members of various ministries of UN member states.

The minister during her talk highlighted ICT progression that has taken place in Pakistan. The efforts of Pakistan were highly appreciated.

It merits to mention here that UNCTAD’s E-Commerce Week is an important forum for ministers, senior government officials, chief executive officers (CEOs), international organizations, development banks, academics and civil society to discuss agenda of carrying forward development of e-commerce eco-system.