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Distinguished Speakers, Participants

Pakistanis living in USA,

Ladies and Gentlemen,


It gives me immense pleasure to inaugurate this Virtual Start-up Summit today. I thank the participants both from the U.S and Pakistan for their interest in today’s event. It’s a testament to your commitment to the betterment and progress of Pakistan.

The ongoing pandemic is an ideal case study of how science and technology can be leveraged in addressing some of the most pressing challenges of the 21st century. The pandemic has shown that despite forces of fragmentation, human capacity to innovate has prevailed. Several challenges faced by humanity today, such as climate change, food security, poverty reduction, and economic disparities have scientific dimensions. This warrants a coordinated scientific response. Resultantly, the role of science & technology in international relations is getting more pronounced.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Socio-economic development and sustainability are the top priorities for the Government. Accordingly, we have placed emphasis on addressing issues like poverty, food security, malnutrition and climate change. In the recently concluded Islamabad Security Dialogue, emphasis was laid on creating global linkages for problem-solving. It is in the best interest of the country that we support innovation and lead the global effort in tackling resource security.

Success of science and innovation is not merely restricted to intellectual prowess, but also to the ability of public institutions and governments to provide an enabling environment for innovation, commercialization and effective absorption of R&D products and services. Our Science Diplomacy (SD) strategy looks both inwards in supporting our S&T landscape, and outwards with the objective of engaging our diaspora to create necessary linkages for international collaboration. To effectively engage with Pakistanis residing abroad, Ministry of Foreign Affairs has initiated a Diaspora Outreach Research and Innovation Network (DORIN). This databasing and networking effort will allow us to create research and innovation linkages, and drive value from the experience of our diaspora across the world. We also intend to add a new dimension to the ways our Embassies and Consulates across the world can engage and create synergies for Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) collaborations.

Our diaspora in the U.S. has been doing a commendable job in contributing to U.S.’s knowledge economy, as well as achieving highest level of excellence in different professions. We also appreciate the efforts that the Pakistani community in the U.S. is undertaking for connecting with the knowledge economy of Pakistan. We want this connectivity to be enhanced in ways leading to sustainable linkages.

Ladies & Gentlemen,

Much is said about Pakistan’s youth dividend and its untapped potential. In my view, this can only be realized if we offer them sufficient opportunities and platforms to grow. The start-up ecosystem in Pakistan is one such avenue, which is featuring more and more success stories.

Through this Start-up Summit, we hope to provide a multi-stakeholder engagement for a better understanding of the start-up landscape and opportunities in Pakistan. To this end, I welcome the high-level representation from Higher Education Commission (HEC), Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), State Bank of Pakistan, National Science & Technology Park, National Technology Fund, as well as some successful local entrepreneurs from the start-up world.

This event is the first in a series of region-specific Summits which will enable us to benefit from the expertise of our innovators and enable our Missions abroad to effectively execute science diplomacy related initiatives.

To conclude, I am grateful to all the distinguished participants for making this event useful. I look forward to a meaningful exchange today between the participants yielding concrete outcomes towards creating sustainable and mutually beneficial diaspora bridges.

Thank you!

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