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2021 – The Year of Digitization in Pakistan


2021 was huge in terms of digital technologies all over the world. The transformation in the digital world is backed by the onset of the pandemic which forced governments to move in this direction. For better or for worse we are not living in the same world as we were before the pandemic. The shift towards digital technologies is so big that going back is not an option anymore.  As a developing country, Pakistan made huge strides in the digital world which has brought it under the spotlight for all the right reasons.

Here is a compilation of all the important events of the year which has made 2021 truly amazing for Pakistan.

i. Pakistan’s first-ever Digital Media Advertising Policy Approved by Cabinet

The Federal Cabinet has approved Pakistan’s first Digital Media Advertising Policy. The process has been undergoing since March this year. The main purpose behind this policy is to take advantage of a large number of social media users in Pakistan which is growing as we speak. Pakistan has around 45 million social media users, which is huge as compared to the current population.

Read more here: Pakistan’s first-ever Digital Media Advertising Policy Approved by Cabinet

ii. Announcement for Pakistan’s First Media Technology University

The Federal Information Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain announced in August 2021 that the effort to set up Pakistan’s first Media Technology University is underway. The University will be the first of its kind and will help to boost the digital media industry of Pakistan. Fawad Khan disclosed the details of the University at the National Media Workshop that took place at National Defense University, Islamabad. He also emphasized that the University will provide skills related to the digital field such as cinematography, animation, film-making, and visual effects.

iii. Pakistan’s first E-commerce University is on the way

The Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM), Aon Abbas Buppi, stated a few weeks ago that the federal government has decided to establish its first e-commerce university. Talking to the media Mr. Aon states that the government will lay foundations for the e-commerce university soon. He also added that the university will polish the skills of the traders around the country and prepare them for the international market as well.

iv. Pakistani Startups Funding Cross $300 Billion in 2021

Pakistan has seen some of the greatest investments this year in the startup sector. According to a Bloomberg report, after two e-commerce startups raised fresh funds, the startup funding in Pakistan crossed $300 million in 2021.

Jiye Technologies, Airlift Technologies, KraveMart, Rider, Ailaj, Bagallery, PostEx, Abhi, are only a few names on the list of startups funded this year.

v. ‘Pandafly’- Food Panda’s Food Drone Delivery Trial a Success

Pakistan’s leading food delivery company, Foodpanda recently launched their pilot project for food drone delivery which turned out to be a success. The launch was done F-9 Park Islamabad and was conducted in the presence of Deputy Commissioner Islamabad who also took the matter on his Twitter.

vi.  Inflows from Roshan Digital Accounts Hit $2.9 Bn in Nov 2021

According to the central bank, it has been accounted that the Foreign exchange inflows via Roshan Digital Accounts (RDAs) have reached a total of $2.9 billion by the end of November. The data published by Arif Habib Limited (AHL), one of the largest securities brokerage, investment banking, and research firms in Pakistan the country registered inflows of $239 million in November as compared to $266 million in October.

vii. SECP Company Registrations Increase by 20pc in Sept 2021

According to a statement released by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), there has been an increase of companies by 20% in the month of September as compared to the same period last year. This makes a total of 2, 223 new companies and a market capitalization of Rs2.8 billion. The total number of registered companies now stands at 1,52,089.

viii. PM allocates Rs 100bn in Start-up loans, 170, 000 Skilled Education Scholarships

In an effort to curb unemployment, Prime Minister Imran Khan announced on Tuesday the allocation of Rs100 billion funds for the purpose of start-up loans along with 170,000 Skilled Education Scholarships. Imran Khan also stated that 50, 000 of these scholarships would be reserved for high-end skills. Such as those linked with the latest technological advancements.

ix. Pakistan Pavilion a Success at Dubai Expo 2020

The Pakistan pavilion saw as many as 8000 people on the first day of the Dubai Expo 2020. The colorful pavilion is marked by the rich and beautiful Pakistani culture. Visitors who come by can visit the eight sections of the pavilion. It offers a glimpse into the vibrant colors of Pakistan, along with the beautifully crafted handicrafts, the beautiful landscape, and great food.

Read more here: Pakistan Pavilion Shines Through at Dubai Expo 2020

x. Pakistan Becomes an Exporter of Smartphones

In August this year, Pakistan sent its first-ever shipment of smartphones to the UAE. The consignment consisted of 5,500 mobile sets of 4G smartphones manufactured by Inovi Telecom. Inovi Telecom Pvt Ltd was given the authority to export smartphones in April 2021, the company was able to fulfill the order in a matter of 4 months only.

xi. YouTube Launched “YouTube Shorts” in Pakistan

YouTube Shorts is a service that allows users to record mobile-friendly vertical videos along with special effects and soundtracks uploaded to the library. In July 2021 YouTube is now made Shorts available to creators in Pakistan

xii. CxO Global Forum Holds Global Digital Summit

The CxO Global Forum held the largest Global Digital Summit from the 22nd –  25th November. With some of the most prominent personalities present at the Global Digital Summit, the audience had the experience to learn from them first hand and understand where the current Pakistan ICT landscape stands at.

Watch the summit here: https://www.youtube.com/c/cxoglobaltv

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