Ministry of IT & Telecom hosts SCO Virtual Conference on Youth Empowerment through Digital Economy

The Ministry of IT and Telecommunication, hosted SCO Virtual Conference on Youth Empowerment through Digital Economy. Delegates from 8 member states of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) including, Iran, Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyz Republic, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan and SCO Secretariat participated in the conference. Public & private sector across SCO member states also attended the conference. Pakistan’s IT industry was represented by senior leadership of Pakistan Software Houses Association (P@SHA).  
In his inaugural address Mr. Hassan Nasir Jamy, Federal Secretary (IT & Telecom) welcomed the participants and elaborated that this conference aimed to provide SCO member states an opportunity to exchange knowledge, best practices and lessons learnt through their respective efforts to build enabling ecosystem for inclusion of youth in the digital economy and explore how they could jointly facilitate the region’s youth to unleash its potential. He stated that government of Pakistan has adopted a multipronged strategy to digitally empower youth in Pakistan, by addressing the digital divide, laying emphases on IT education and skill development and fostering digital entrepreneurship, innovation & freelancing. 
The Federal Secretary, highlighted that government is setting up 10,000 ‘e-Rozgar centres’ across the country to facilitate freelancers. It has established a network of National Incubation Centers (NICs) throughout the country to nurture innovation through Startup ecosystem. Recently, the government has created Pakistan Startup Fund under which the government will invest up to Rs2 billion a year in the sector. To build a secure and enabling digital environment in the country, the government introduced various policies, and special initiatives such as National Cyber Security Policy- 2021, Pakistan Cloud First Policy 2022, Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) Rules 2023 and establishment of National & Sectoral CERTs.
H.E Mr. Zhang Ming, the SCO Secretary General also addressed the participants. He remarked that digital technology has the potential to enable youth entrepreneurship and lower barriers associated with it. 
The participants lauded the efforts of Ministry of IT and Telecommunication for successfully hosting the conference. The conference concluded with closing remarks of Mr. Muhammad Sualeh Ahmad Faruqi, Federal Secretary (Commerce).