Pakistan must collaborate with China on AI, quantum computing

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani tech experts believe that the country’s future information technology (IT) development is aligned with that of China, which is doing wonders in Artificial Intelligence (AI), nanotechnology, quantum computing and other high-end industries.
Talking to WealthPK, co-founder of Automcamp Naveed Iftikhar said that China had achieved remarkable progress in research and development (R&D) and training of human resources. “Pakistan needs to collaborate more with China to train our human resources and do more R&D,” he stressed.
Hussain Nadim, a well-known IT expert and founder of a 5G Internet observatory, told WealthPK that Pakistan’s overwhelming focus is on tangible development items like dams and infrastructure. “On the other hand, China dominates in R&D as it is one of the leaders in AI, nanotechnology, quantum computing and other industries,” he pointed out.
“Even if with one percent of Chinese tech cooperation, we could do wonders in enhancing our technical capabilities,” Hussain Nadim said.
He said that Pakistan needs to ‘de-securitise’ the technology space and focus on business, commercial and training sides. “We also need to have technical and information technology corridors, which is the future of Pakistan and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor,” he added.
Hamza Saeed Orakzai, director of planning and regulatory affairs, Special Technology Zone Authority (STZA), told WealthPK that “we established China Pakistan Science and Technology Centre, the first of its kind, in Beijing around two months ago. Recently, we also conducted a webinar, where around 5,000 Chinese technology companies and delegations participated.”
He said that Pakistan has considerately large youth population, which should be made to learn the Chinese language, and at the same time they have to speak English, to properly align Pakistan with the world’s two largest economies – China and the US.
He said STZA was assisting Chinese companies wanting to open ventures in Pakistan in obtaining licensing speedily, sparing them the hassle of going to 10 different government agencies for the purpose. “These companies can just come to STZA, register digitally and start doing business at once, thus saving them about six months needed for a company to clear a lot of regulatory bottlenecks before being able to do business.”
Hamza Saeed said that hopefully, more Chinese tech companies will join Pakistani tech market soon with the help of STZA.