November 20, 2019: Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry has said that Pakistan wanted to reach four percent of GDP through biotechnology exports and planned to hit $20 billion biotech exports in the next ten years.
“I would encourage the companies in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to come and join us, it’s a huge market for the world,” Chaudhry said.
We are ready to send formal proposals to Saudi Arabia and UAE to become partners in the field of biotechnology as it aims to expand research and innovation in science and technology, the minister said.
“I have asked both Saudi Arabia and the UAE to join hands with us in the field of biotechnology,” he said .
“The UAE ambassador has shown interest in Pakistan’s offer to join hand in biotechnology projects but I am looking for practical steps as we have just completed our legalities. We will now send a formal proposal to both Saudi Arabia and UAE to join hands,” Fawad Chaudhry said in an interview with Arab News.
“Biotechnology is the field that will capture international economy more than anything else. For example, herbal medicine extraction is the area which is not explored properly in this part of the world.” “UAE and Saudi Arabia have their own herbs but the potential of their medicinal herbs has not been explored through proper research,” the minister said. “I would like to encourage both Saudi Arabia and UAE to start mutual projects with Pakistan on herbal medicines and similar areas.” Chaudhry said Pakistan was planning major innovations in agriculture, Hydroponic agriculture and precision agriculture are a huge area of interest for us; we are developing 150 acres plots of hydroponic agriculture,” he said. “Qatar, UAE and Saudi Arabia are the biggest importers of hydroponic agriculture and we would like to be part of this by exporting to these countries.” Chaudhry said Pakistan was finalizing a memorandum of understanding with Dubai future city and Dubai museum for help in revamping Islamabad museum. “I talked to the concerned authorities during my UAE visit in September and now we are finalizing the details,” he said.
“UAE’s space program is very advance and we are very keen to work closely with UAE to benefit from their experience of space mission,” Chaudhry said.
He said Pakistan also wanted to sign an MoU next year with the first artificial intelligence (AI) university set up in the UAE.
“Once it will be fully functional next year, we would like to sign some MoU with this UAE university to work together,” Chaudhry said. “Pakistan has 11 centers of excellence in AI and I will ask NUST to approach AI university in Abu Dhabi to work on joint projects.” He said Pakistan wished to collaborate with Saudi Arabia to tackle the challenge of cybersecurity.
“Saudi Arabia has arranged international conferences and also taken measures to deal with cybersecurity challenges. Pakistan would like to collaborate with the kingdom to benefit from its experience,” Chaudhry said.
“I will take up the issue with the ministry of information technology as well so that in future we can participate in international conferences on cybersecurity arranged by Saudi Arabia”.
He said Pakistan, UAE and Saudi Arabia should start exchange programs for professionals, scientists and universities students, adding that the brotherly countries could benefit from Pakistan’s talent in software development.
Speaking about his recent visit to China, the minister said Pakistan was looking to increase its exports to China, and had set up a high-powered commission for that purpose.
“This commission will identify the industries in Pakistan with the capacity to export products to China and with the help of China we will upgrade those industries,” Chaudhry said.