Rawalpindi: JUNE 28 – The Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) organized a business conference titled “ASPIRE” yesterday. Addressing the virtual session of the ASPIRE Business Conference, Secretary IT Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui said ministry’s first priority is to reach out to areas where 3G and 4G mobile networks are not available in the current Covid-19 situation.
The doors of our ministry are open. Telecommunication connections are also being extended to remote areas of Balochistan, GB and AJK through the Universal Support Fund. IT and telecom charges are being reduced, he added. He lauded the role of RCCI for hosting of this conference and termed it an excellent step.
In a video message, Governor Punjab Chaudhary Muhammad Sarwar also applauded the efforts of RCCI for promoting e-commerce and assured full support of his office.
Saboor Malik, President, RCCI in his welcome address said that e-commerce in Pakistan has a market of over Rs. 50 billion and it is growing rapidly. The IT sector is the only sector that has shown a growth of 20 to 40 percent in the last five years. Telecommunications, mobile apps and e-shops have revolutionized the mode of payments and shopping. He said the main purpose of the conference was to encourage businesses, increase their productivity and profitability while reducing their costs and exploring new opportunities through discussions with leading business professionals.
He said the approval of e-commerce policy framework is a welcome sign and the government should take further steps to promote e-commerce in the country.
Group leader Sohail Altaf said that the digital revolution has now become a reality. The e-commerce and Information Technology should be made part of the syllabus. The participation of more than 400 participants in the conference shows the seriousness of all the members and guests. Businessmen play an important role in the development of the economy, but at no level does an entrepreneur or businessman get any praise or applause. Successful entrepreneurs should also be awarded medals on important national days, he demanded.
Economies around the world have been hit hard by the corona, said Gonzalo Varela, an economist and World Bank economist. It also has repercussions in Pakistan. About 40% of exports have been affected, we have to invest in logistics and skills sector and the most important the private sector should be given support here to meet the growing challenges.
Waleed Mushtaq, CEO/rector Roots School and Colleges said that the education sector has been severely affected by Corona. Promoting education without classroom is no less of a challenge.
Irfan Wahab, CEO of Telenor, said that the travel tourism and hotel industry has been plagued by problems. However, the digital platform has also provided an opportunity to reduce your costs and expenditures. Now we have to take businesses in a new direction.
Wahaj Siraj of NayaTel said that in this difficult situation we have to bring forward the spirit of service. Business needs to be linked to the Service Manifesto, he added.
Daraz MD, Ahsan Sayya said that the online business has seen a 20% growth because the online platform has made shopping easier.
Noman Sikandar Mirza of Food Panda said that the demand for food delivery has increased but the delivery time has been disrupted due to lockdown. In the same way, the closure of hotels and food outlets has provided a limited choice for the customers.
Senior Vice President Nosherwan Khalil Khan, Vice President Muhammad Hamza Sarosh, Convener Shahriaz Malik, former presidents Zahid Latif Khan, Shahid Saleem and others were also present on the occasion.