ISLAMABAD-Digital economy is now need of the hour to meet the ever increasing emerging global challenges through result oriented digital connectivity with advanced countries especially with China.

Talking to a delegation of industrialists and traders led by Momin Ali Malik, Chairman United Business Group (UBG) in the Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Shahzad Ali Malik said that China, United States and the European Union with respective comprehensive strengthen and sci-tech capabilities, have become the three poles in the global digital geopolitical landscape.

While China and the European Union have a noticeable gap with the US in overall strength, he added.

With regard to the size of the digital economy, the US ranked first with $13.1trillion followed by China $5.2 trillion, Germany $2.44 trillion, Japan, $2.39 trillion, the UK $1 trillion, and France $1.17trilliin, he claimed.

He said Chinese tech giant Huawei is breaking the US monopoly in a number of high tech fields such as communications and chip designs.

He said against such a backdrop, China-EU relations have great strategic importance as the US protected its own networks without caring other players interests.

He said as the power of digital technologies quietly but fiercely shocks existing boundaries and defences, the reshaping of international rules and order will gradually unfold and proceed on the global stage.

Competition between the world’s major countries will expand to more areas and get increasingly complex which requires more refined response, he added.

Shahzad Ali Malik said the digital economy has significantly positive effects on economic growth. It stimulates economic growth by promoting industrial structure upgrading. He said COVID-19 has generally boosted the demand of digital industries globally, adding that network infrastructure in Central Asia and South Asia including in Pakistan is still lagging far behind from digital economy development level of countries.

He said due to large development gap, Pakistan can learn from advanced countries especially from China to explore the appropriate development models in the light of their own status.

He said what we need is to focus on strengthening R&D support for frontier digital technologies such as artificial intelligence and 5G enhancing specialised talent training and improving the innovation environment for digital economy. He emphasised the immediate needs to improve digital connectivity, promotion of information technology and create new growth points for cooperation. He said in prevailing scenario, effective measures to be adopted to fully encourage Chinese entreprises to invest in building infrastructure network and improve digital connectivity in Pakistan, he concluded.