The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has declared it will set up an Asia Pacific Centre of Excellence in Pakistan for imparting training to member countries in issues ranging from telecom policy to regulations.

The ITU, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland is an international organization within the United Nations Systemwhere governments and the private sector coordinate, standardize and regulate global telecom networks and services.

This center of excellence in Pakistan is one of the four centers of excellence being setup in Asia by ITU. According to the statement by Telecom Ministry of Pakistan, “ITU would provide assistance to Pakistan for setting up and running the training centre for specialised policy and regulatory training. The decision to set up the centre of excellence in Pakistan was taken at a meeting of the 1st ITU Asia Pacific Centre of Excellence Stakeholders held in Bangkok recently.”

Pakistan’s strategic role in international telecommunication scene has been growing steadily over the last few years. This month Pakistan won the council seat of International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and Chairman Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) was elected as member of Radio Regulation Board of ITU. Pakistan also holds the office of President in Asia Pacific Telecommunity.

There’s a lot more work waiting for the policy makers. Pakistan needs to push more towards telecom research and development work within the country. As noted in my previous posts, China and India are in the process of becoming world’s major R&D centers for technology and telecommunication. Two of the top Chinese telecom equipment firms have announced their plans to collaborate with Pakistan: Huawei is working with UET Lahore and ZTE will setup R&D center in Islamabad. The goal of the policy makers should be to increase the rate of transfer of technology from abroad, broaden the pool of local skilled workforce and accelerate the local production of telecom equipment and handset parts etc. If that can be achieved it will be more than consumerism – it will be real progress. 

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