Digital Skills, Crucial to Improve Pakistan’s Global Competitiveness Rankings of the World Economic Forum in 2021

Digital Skills and COVID-19 Public Policy Options for Pakistan

Digital Skills and COVID-19 Public Policy Options for Pakistan

Extreme Commerce, Pakistan’s first EdTech company specializing in e-commerce and digital trade education and practices.

Mishal Pakistan, the Country Partner Institute of New Economy and Societies Platform, World Economic Forum

Mishal Pakistan, the Country Partner Institute of New Economy and Societies Platform, World Economic Forum

Extreme Commerce to Collaborate with Mishal/World Economic Forum (WEF) to Improve Competitiveness Data on Digital Skills and Jobs of Tomorrow in Pakistan.

We are enabling our platform for the people to benefit from the digital transformation, so they can learn and start accommodating themselves in the new digital environment.”

— Sunny Ali, Founder, Extreme Commerce

ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN, April 29, 2021 / — Pakistan has shown resilience in its struggle against COVID-19. Giving preferences to the challenges and institutionalizing efforts to fight COVID-19 greatly enhances Pakistan’s chances to improve its ranking on the Global Competitiveness Index 2021. Pakistan ranks at 110 among 141 countries on the rankings measured in 2019. The 2020 was a pause year for the Global Competitiveness Index of the World Economic Forum due to lack of global data because of the global pandemic of COVID-19.

Pakistan has shown resilience in its institutions working together, before the COVID-19 crisis, a long-standing issue had been the ongoing and consistent erosion of institutions, as shown by declining or stalling checks and balances and transparency indicators. Against this backdrop, in the revival phase the government is expected to prioritize in improving long-term thinking capacity within the federal and the provincial governments and enhance mechanisms to deliver public services through greater digitalization.

One of the challenges for the government remains regaining public trust. With limited availability of the COVID-19 vaccination, the social distancing and work from home policy seems to be enforced for many more months to come. Ultimate gain of trust can be ensured by safeguarding livelihoods that can generate income even in the times of hardships and difficulties.

The digital skills both at the centre and provinces have been a key factor to create opportunities to keep the economy rolling. Mandated by the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC), businesses must enforce work from home policy with a maximum 50% attendance for businesses and officials at all levels. This is part of the new ecosystem that is emerging globally, where businesses prefer to look at certain digital skills as the most desired prerequisite for work. The government of Pakistan has estimated digital skills, globally referred to as online outsourcing, is expected to generate gross service revenue between $15 billion and $25 billion in 2021.

Amir Jahangir, Chief Executive Officer of Mishal Pakistan, a Country Partner Institute of the New Economy and Societies Platform, World Economic said, “Governments needs to devise systems to use digital technologies for the welfare of the people. The tax regimes on technologies that help fight COVID-19 should be given breaks to create more value for the citizens,”. He further said, “the economic well-being of the society improves by giving preferential preferences to the tools and technologies that enable people to work from home, sustain health and be connected. This includes the hardware, software and the medium of internet that is required to carry out the business.”

Sunny Ali, Founder of Extreme Commerce, said “we are enabling our platform for the people to benefit from the digital tranformation. The 100+ Digital Skills are open to public, so they can learn and start accommodating themselves in the new digital environment. He said, “we are especially encouraging the students and youth in universitas and across Pakistan to benefit from Extreme Commerce’s Video Boot Camp, so they can build their digital skills for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) economy and the possible post Covid-19 scenarios.

Before the COVID-19 crisis, despite the significant expansions of ICT access, ICT availability and use remained far from universal. The COVID-19 crisis has accelerated digitalization in advanced economies and made catching up more difficult for countries or regions that were lagging before the crisis.

For several years before the crisis, skills mismatches, talent shortages and increasing misalignment between incentives and rewards for workers had been flagged as problematic for advancing productivity, prosperity, and inclusion. Because of the pandemic and subsequent acceleration of technology adoption, these challenges have become even more pronounced and compounded further by permanent and temporary losses of employment and income.

To catch up with the global skills development, Pakistan needs to focus in the revival phase on gradually transitioning from furlough schemes to new labour market opportunities, scaling up reskilling and upskilling programmes and rethinking active labour market policies. The country’s leadership needs to work to update education curricula and expand investment in the skills needed for jobs in “markets of tomorrow”, especially the digital skills, enabling opportunities of work from home.

Pakistan has vaccinated more than 1 million elderly people in the last two months. The country has purchased 78% of its total available & expected COVID-19 vaccine stock till June 2021. Future orders are already in place to keep the vaccination process smooth. Almost 18.7 million doses will be administered by June 2021.

The Executive Opinion Survey, carried out nationally by Mishal Pakistan, helps to identify some common features that helps how Pakistan better manages the impact of the pandemic on its economy and its people. Based on the assessment of business leaders i) economic digitization and digital skills; ii) safety nets and financial soundness; iii) governance and planning; and iv) health system and research capacity have contributed to countries’ resilience to the health crisis.

Extreme Commerce has earlier signed a memorandum of understanding with Mishal Pakistan to mainstream e-commerce in Pakistan, this includes capacity building initiatives for the media and industry players, including training, seminars, and workshops. With this partnership both the organizations are also creating a media fellowship program on e-commerce and digital trade.

Extreme Commerce is Pakistan’s first EdTech start up with a sole focus on skills development and capacity building within the E-Commerce and digital arena. Founded in 2017, it is the largest community of its kind in Pakistan, with well over half a million members and over 100+ courses and income streams to choose from. Extreme Commerce estimates that by 2025, it will foster a community of over 1 million strong, generating well over $1 billion in inward remittance for Pakistan.

Saweed Tariq
Mishal Pakistan
+92 300 8555161

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April 29, 2021, 09:40 GMT

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