China Pakistan Technology Cooperation Centre launched in Beijing.
China Pakistan Technology Cooperation Centre launched in Beijing. Image Credit: STZA

Islamabad: Pakistan and China have launched a new initiative to boost science and technology cooperation and to seize the opportunities that would benefit both countries.

The Chinese Zhongguancun Belt and Road Industrial Promotion Association (ZBRA) and Pakistan’s Special Technology Zones Authority (STZA) have jointly launched the ‘China-Pakistan Science and Technology Cooperation Centre’ in Beijing this week.

More than 3,000 Chinese technology companies virtually attended the inauguration event held at Pakistan Embassy in Beijing. Moin-ul-Haque, Pakistan’s ambassador to China, said that the “technology sector emerged as a cornerstone of China-Pakistan cooperation during the recent visit of Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif to China”. The two neighbours have also formed joint working groups on science and technology (S&T) and Information Technology (IT) under the multi-billion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

With the launch of the tech centre, the two strategic partners are broadening their alliance to new technology areas besides defence, and security.

China-Pakistan tech cooperation centre

The new centre would help boost S&T innovations, people-to-people, and student-to-student cooperation networks, and will be designed to build a business-to-business platform for the transfer of technology and investments, said Hamza Saeed Orakzai, the director of strategic planning and regulatory affairs at STZA.

“Technology sector growth is driven by knowledge, skills, and machines. The China-Pakistan Science and Technology Centre is focused on these three key inputs where startups and youth will get access to Chinese technology companies, venture capital, specialised knowledge, skills of the future, Chinese markets, and cross-border investments,” Hamza Orakzai told Gulf News. He says that the STZA, which supports the development of the tech ecosystem in Pakistan, is committed to enabling international partnerships through engagements with tech-innovation leaders across the world including China, the United States, the Middle East, Europe and Turkey.

Mobilise high-tech enterprises

Zhang Xiaodong, the president of ZBRA, said that the China-Pakistan tech centre will serve as a platform that will “mobilise all parties in China and Pakistan, especially high-tech enterprises and institutions to develop and gather resources for science and technology cooperation”. He also said that a delegation of Chinese S&T enterprises will visit Pakistan next year to explore business opportunities. The Beijing-based Chinese organisation ZBRA provides an international cooperation platform for the integration of sci-tech enterprises into the Belt and Road development programme.

The China-Pakistan tech centre will focus on cooperation in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, Cloud Computing, Robotics, Fintech, Biotechnology, and Blockchain. It will also serve as a platform for Chinese technology companies to conduct and relocate their business in special technology zones of Pakistan and foster a cooperation base for developing production capacity.