ISLAMABAD, Oct 19 (APP): Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday said that Pakistan’s macro-economic stability has been achieved through prudent and sound economic policies of the present government.

GDP growth had averaged more than 4% per annum during the last three years and reached 4.71% last year which was highest in eight years, he said, adding, foreign exchange reserves have exceeded $ 24 billion.

The Prime Minister expressed these views while talking to Chairman Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Organization (TAG-Org) Dr.Talal Abu-Ghazaleh, who called on him here at PM House.

He said the government considers Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) as key enabler to enhance productivity, transparency, and good governance for empowering the people towards attaining the objectives set under Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“Our vision is `Accelerated Digitization Ecosystem’ with special emphasis on `Bridging Broadband Divide’ to spur socio- economic growth across the length and breadth of the country for expanding the knowledge based economy,” he added.

While appreciating the visit of Dr. Talal Abu-Ghazaleh to Pakistan, the Prime Minister acknowledged the substantial contributions and achievements of the Chairman, and role of his professional outfit in diverse arenas including his role in promoting ICTs for achieving sustainable development.

He said Pakistan’s investment profile has been upgraded by all leading rating agencies on account of successful economic reforms and improved security situation.

The Prime Minister said that Pakistan has a flourishing broadband internet community comprising of over 31 million users and has surpassed the growth rate of broadband users from various countries in the region.

Transparent 3G/4G spectrum auctions resulted in growth of broadband penetration from less than 3% in 2014 to more than 25% at present, he observed.

The Prime Minister highlighted the present government’s well structured and sustained policies in carrying out mega initiatives in the areas of e-government and digital services, financial inclusion, women empowerment through technology, supporting affordability of broadband telecoms, support of entrepreneurship & innovation services and for provision of world-class ICT infrastructure.

Dr. Talal Abu-Ghazaleh highly appreciated numerous socio-economic initiatives and endeavours of the government for technological advancement and lauded the vision of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif for transforming the country on modern lines.

The Chairman expressed his desire of not only investing in Pakistan’s IT market as well as other diverse professional sectors including accountancy, ICT and IPR (Intellectual Property) etc. but also to take Pakistan Jordan relations to next levels through promotion of bilateral collaboration at governmental level.

The Prime Minister welcomed the intent of the Chairman for promotion of skilled Pakistani IT human resource.

He commended the initiative of TAG-Org on sustainable urbanization and smart cities development which will play an important role to achieve Post 2015 SDGs.

The government will extend its fullest support and facilitation to TAG-Org for joint ventures and strategies for development and deployment of digital services in Pakistani markets for the benefit of all segments of Pakistani citizens and to achieve the SDG targets, the Prime Minister added.