A National Stakeholders Workshop on “Unleashing The Potential Of Industry 4.0 In Developing Countries” was held by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). The goal of holding this workshop was to bring together public and private sector players to discuss obstacles and opportunities, as well as to chart a course for promoting Industry 4.0 in Pakistan.
Mr. Asim Shahryar Husain, CEO of Ignite National Technology Fund (a non-profit company owned by the Government of Pakistan and administered by the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication), who opened the national stakeholders’ workshop, praised UNIDO’s efforts, saying, “This is a much-needed discussion, and the impact of 4IR is inevitable.” This shift would strengthen Pakistan’s entrepreneurship and ecosystem.” He also stated that he believes that including a component of Industry 4.0 in that policy will assist industries compete on a global scale.
In his remarks, Dr Bernado Calzadilla Sarmiento, Managing Director, Directorate of Digitalization, Technology and Agribusiness, UNIDO HQ Vienna, said, “Industry 4.0 is one of UNIDO’s six priority themes.” It has the potential to increase productivity and competitiveness, as well as energy and resource efficiency and effectiveness, and thus environmental protection. I am confident that Industry 4.0 and Society 5.0 will make a substantial contribution to Pakistan’s inclusive and long-term industrialization.”
Mr. Julien Harneis, UN Resident Coordinator for Pakistan, spoke to the audience about the significance of inclusivity, particularly for women, and environmentally sustainable solutions, saying, “If we look at how Pakistan has done in the previous year. In the post-covid review, we did relatively well in comparison to other countries. The most recent tarde figures and export data show a recovery, indicating two issues in the country. First, export figures are low when compared to countries of similar size and dimensions.The other issue is that Pakistan’s economy does not benefit everyone, particularly women and those living in poverty. “What is fascinating about the technological advances we are experiencing is that, if we think about it, we can change the dynamics; we can transform the industry to bring prosperity not only to the country but also to the poor and, above all, to the women,” he continued. He further stated, “This is Pakistan’s greatest development challenge.” “We need to grow in a way that is environmentally sustainable. The ecological aspects of today’s technology advances are vitally critical.”
Ms. Nadia Aftab, UNIDO Country Representative, shared her insights with the audience earlier in her welcome comments, saying, “Since 1968, UNIDO in Pakistan has had a wide and successful portfolio in industrial development support.” Industry 4.0 can contribute to inclusive and sustainable development while also ensuring resource preservation for future generations. Indeed, scientific and industrial advancements must enable the attainment of environmental, economic, and, of course, social sustainability goals.” She went on to say, “In Pakistan, there is a lot of opportunity to embrace Industry 4.0 and join the Industry 4.0 bandwagon.”
An interactive session with over 500 participants, including over 100 women professionals, was held. The focus of the conversation was on Industry 4.0’s macro trends and important concepts, as well as its potential applications in emerging countries, as well as the Policy Framework and Government’s Role. The panellists’ comments led to a path forward for Industry 4.0 in Pakistan, which may be used to promote inclusive and sustainable industrial development. The gender element of Industry 4.0 was also discussed, which expanded on how women in the technological and industrial sectors, particularly as entrepreneurs, may flourish.
UNIDO is a United Nations specialised organisation that promotes equitable and sustainable industrial development in underdeveloped countries. UNIDO is involved in a number of programmes that are either directly or indirectly related to equitable and sustainable industrial development, climate change, trade, and other issues. It is ensured that all projects where UNIDO provides technical assistance are sustainable and adaptable to the private sector. ISID (Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development) is UNIDO’s current theme, which refers to active participation of women and men in all aspects of inclusive and sustainable industrial development.