Broke begging bowl as nations prosper through hard work, not aid: PM

  • Says would not seek loan but joint collaboration and joint investments to have mutual benefits for investors
  • Addresses roundtable conference titled: ‘Innovate together: UAE-Pakistan Tech Collaboration’ during daylong visit UAE

ABU DHABI: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday said that he had broken the begging bowl as no nation had ever achieved prosperity through the begging bowl or aid rather through sacrifice and hard work.

“Gone are the days when I will go to a brotherly country with a begging bowl. I have broken that bowl. The bowl will lead us nowhere. When was the last time that a country prospered through aid and bowls? Only the nations made their mark and left indelible footprints through sacrifice, hard work, sweat and blood,” he said addressing a roundtable conference titled: “Innovate together: UAE-Pakistan Tech Collaboration” during his daylong visit here.

This event was organized by Pakistan Software Houses Association (P@SHA) and Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB) in collaboration with Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication and Pakistan Embassy in Abu Dhabi.

The event was attended by representatives and heads of Information Technology (IT) companies based in UAE as well as Pakistani IT experts.

The prime minister, who was on his daylong visit to the UAE said that in his scheduled meeting with the UAE President Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, he would not seek any loan but joint collaboration and joint investments to have mutual benefits for investors.

Explaining the parameters of his government’s program, he said the Pakistani workers would be imparted the highest standard of vocational training so that they come to UAE and open their offices, provide remote services and make livelihood.

“I am prepared to take that risk because nothing can be achieved without taking risks. I am ready to move forward in this field,” he told the ceremony which marked the signing of three MOUs between Pakistani and UAE IT companies to implement digital transformation. He appreciated the UAE president’s vision of taking lead in IT, artificial intelligence and constructing information infrastructure on modern lines to build the national economy which should not be dependent on oil and gas, and making the country a hub of imports and exports.

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Lauding the Pakistani IT professionals playing their role in digitizing the UAE economy, he said, “That is what we need to replicate in Pakistan… Pakistan offers great potential in terms of its population with 60% comprising youth aged 15-30 years.”

Highlighting his government’s focus on the promotion of IT and AI in various sectors of the economy like agriculture, mines and minerals, skills and empowering the youth, he said the roundtable conference was the reflection of what could be achieved in the sector.

“We want to transform our economy. I have an iron resolve to completely transform the economy of Pakistan in collaboration with UAE, be it a joint venture, collaboration or knowledge-sharing partnership.”

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Lauding the contribution and efforts of around 1.5 million Pakistani diaspora in the UAE, the prime minister urged them to learn the expertise and experiences of the Emirates to replicate them for Pakistan’s progress and prosperity.

He recalled strong institutional and people-to-people linkages between the two countries. He said that both countries share the collective ambition to embrace innovation and progress.

“Together we have to work and march forward and with joint efforts we will be great Ummah. Both will prosper together provided we march in unison, join hands and shun all our concerns and fears,” he remarked.

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The prime minister also held an interactive discussion with the participants and responded to various comments and suggestions. He shared the commitment of his government for improving investment ecosystem in digital economy of the country and invited investors to visit Pakistan.

The event concluded with the distribution of mementos amongst the UAE-based clients of Pakistani IT companies in recognition of their contribution and strengthening of business-to-business cooperation. The event was also attended by the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Muhammad Ishaq Dar, Minister for Commerce Jam Kamal Khan, Minister for Defence Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Minister for Information Attaullah Tarar, Minister of State for IT and Telecom Shaza Fatima Khawaja and SAPM Syed Tariq Fatemi.

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