A recent study conducted by Huawei and Arthur D. Little sheds light on the digital economy potential of the Middle Eastern region. Presented at the Accelerating a Sustainable Digital Economy summit held earlier this week by the SAMENA Council, the report makes recommendations for policy actions for Middle Eastern countries to realize their digital visions. Pakistan is singled out as an “ICT Novice”, but the report points out that the country has immense potential to become a powerful digital economy.
Owing to low adoption of ICT products and services and limited ICT infrastructure, Pakistan is currently a novice in the IT economy space. However, as the report by Huawei and Arthur D. Little notes, the right policies can allow the nation to leverage its low-cost base and massive workforce to become a service and software powerhouse.
The report suggests that this can be achieved by uplifting the supply and demand sides of the digital economy in tandem, improving digital infrastructure, access, and capabilities, while fostering a strong ecosystem around clusters of strategic industries such as software and entertainment. In all, the consultancy group has estimated gains in excess of $1.9 billion and thousands of high-quality jobs can be created.
The digital economy is estimated to account for 4.5 to 15.5 percent of world GDP today, depending on the definition. In its broadest definition, this equates to US$11.5 trillion and is growing at around 3x the rate of overall GDP.
The report highlights the significance of the digital economy in this age, and stresses the importance of measuring the true impact of its development so that countries can continue to succeed in the digital era.
“As the digital economy becomes a key driving force behind economic development in the Middle East, we must continue to measure the true impact of its development, and the best practices that are helping countries to succeed today. At Huawei, working collectively with global institutions and think tanks in the areas of theory and research are incredibly important to achieving this end,” a Huawei executive noted.