Pakistan must embrace emerging technologies to spur growth

ISLAMABAD-Technology has a major role to play in giving impetus to a country’s economic growth. But Pakistan lags behind in adapting to innovation to spur growth. Fast-paced adaptation of technology can really drive Pakistan’s economy out of lurch.
Talking to WealthPK, Khan Muhammad Wazir, Director General Ministry of Science and Technology, said innovation was the key to development of every start-up as the world was going through a revolution that placed great emphasis on how quickly people could use their knowledge to innovate.
“In today’s world, artificial intelligence and smart technologies are affecting how we live, produce and consume.”
He said for robust economic growth, technological adaptation was a must. “The developed world’s success is because it has continually invested in technology. If a country wishes to achieve success and attain power, it will have to end hunger and poverty, and ensure sustained economic growth, and that is possible only through adopting innovative technologies to boost production.”
Muhammad Wazir underscored that technological development was a necessary aspect of the economic process. “Competition and the desire to find a better, more efficient way to produce goods and services, drive firms to take advantage of every new technological advancement.”
“More technological improvement means the more efficient production of goods and services and higher economic growth. The good thing about technology is that it can be exported to other countries with ease. Due to global rivalries over economic power, multinational firms compete to employ as much of technology as possible in their production processes, which means more robust and cross-border trade activity,” he explained.
“Moreover, advancement in technology opens up opportunities for better jobs, and increased career prospects necessitate increased training and education of workforce in technological know-how.”
He continued: “Innovation decreases the production costs and increases the quality and quantity of products, which then fetch handsome and hefty foreign exchange, and also greatly help finance a country’s imports, thus ensuring balance in foreign payments.”
The ministry of science and technology director general said technological advancement was the outcome of consistent investment in research and development.
“Unfortunately, Pakistan has never shown much interest in research and development despite guarantees of outstanding outcomes. Whether it is agriculture or industry, we have always used outmoded techniques in the hope of better results. Because of this lack of interest to improve technological capabilities, Pakistan fails to compete in the global markets as far as its goods and services are concerned.”
“However, if Pakistan chooses the path of a knowledge-based economy, it can increase agricultural productivity, value-added industrial production, and cutting-edge services. Additionally, this will have a favourable knock-on effect on infrastructure, education and public health. In this way, Pakistan will be able to narrow down the output gaps between its economy and that of the developed countries,” stressed Muhammad Wazir.

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