Telco-intensive sectors contribute 75% to the total economic growth in Pakistan, Report

By Muneeb Ahmad on
April 2, 2019
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A new report commissioned by Telenor outlines the impact Telecom Sector has had in Pakistan’s growth.

Telenor Pakistan hosted an event at its 345 campus to share findings from a new connectivity report by Frontier Economics. Titled “The Mobile Effect: How Connectivity Enables Growth”, the study was commissioned by Telenor Group and it quantified the impact of telecommunications sector on the economies in the five Asian countries where Telenor Group operates – Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, and Malaysia.

The report highlighted that the sectors driven by telecommunications in Pakistan contributed three quarters to total economic growth.

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The panel of distinguished guests included Minister of IT&T Dr. Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, SVP at Telenor Group Mr. Håkon Bruaset Kjøl, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at Telenor Pakistan Mr. Kamal Ahmed, CEO Macro Economic Insights Mr. Sakib Sherani, CEO of Ignite Mr. Yusuf Hussain, Chief Child Protection Program at UNICEF Ms. Silvia Pasti and Team Lead at Impact Network.pk Ms. Shahida Saleem.

“Mobile connectivity has grown and developed by many folds over the past few years and it has certainly become the cornerstone of digital development and transformation across industries. Increased access to mobile broadband will be a catalyst towards higher national productivity and uplift the GDP through growth in e-commerce, e-Health, e-Education, e-citizen services and agriculture to name a few areas” said Irfan Wahab Khan, CEO Telenor Pakistan.

The Findings of the Report

In 2017, the telecommunications sector contributed more than USD $15bn to the economies of Bangladesh, Pakistan, Malaysia, Thailand and Myanmar

The study revealed that telco-intensive sectors generally contribute a greater proportion to economic growth than others. For Pakistan, these sectors include wholesale and retail trade, maintenance and repair, transport and private households. The report mentioned that in 2017, the telecommunications sector contributed more than USD $15bn to the economies of Bangladesh, Pakistan, Malaysia, Thailand, and Myanmar. This was more than 1% of GDP in each country.

Mobile financial services have been on the rise in Asia. This has resulted in a reduction in the urban-rural financial inclusion divide. 18% percent of the Pakistani population made or received digital payments in 2017; 15% of which came from rural Pakistan. Ownership of mobile wallet accounts stood at 7% and a huge share of 6% came from rural areas showing how effectively mobile financial services were bringing the previously excluded masses into the fold of financial inclusion.

Telenor Pakistan’s social impact also remained significant. The company’s Digital Birth Registration initiative in close collaboration with UNICEF redefined social inclusion and is a true example of how telecommunication technology can be leveraged to give children their basic right of identity and make them a formal part of the country’s socioeconomic activity. The pilot phase resulted in an increase in birth registration from 30% to 90% in just six months, and nearly 50% of the registered children were girls. Till date, Digital Birth Registration has been launched in four districts of Sindh and three districts of Punjab. More than 760,000 children have been registered, and the ambition is to register more than 1.1 million children in total by the end of 2019.

Present in Asia for more than 20 years, Telenor connects 166 million people and brought USD$4.3 billion in economic value to its Asian markets in 2017. Meeting these connectivity demands requires significant investment, especially in networks, from the telecommunications players across Asia. From 2014 to 2017, Telenor invested USD $6.2 billion in its five Asian markets, making the company one of the top three foreign investors.

The complete report could be read from here. The detailed report covers the contribution the telecom sector and its related investment has had on the economy of five Asian countries and that how it enabling productivity and social impact across different sectors like Health, Social & Financial inclusion, and agriculture.

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