Abbasi meets up with heads of Microsoft, Telenor and Uber

Staff Report
Thursday - January 25, 2018
ISLAMABAD: Prime minister (PM) Shahid Khaqan Abbasi met with Bill and Melinda Gates foundation co-chairman Bill Gates, Telenor chief executive officer (CEO) Sigve Brekke and Uber technologies CEO Dara Khowsroshahi, on Wednesday, during the sidelines of world economic forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland; an official statement said.

According to detail, in his meeting with Gates, Abbasi thanked and appreciated the support provided by Bill and Melinda Gates foundation to Pakistan, particularly for the Polio eradication program.

He discussed avenues of partnership in health, education and other social sectors with Gates. Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and empowerment of farmers through financial and digital inclusion was also discussed during the meeting.

“We are focused on social sector reforms and the recent major initiatives of our government in health and education will certainly benefit people in general and the poor and vulnerable in particular,” PM highlighted.

While recalling the meeting held, at the sidelines of UNGA last year, Abbasi apprised about the progress made by directorate of national savings that has partnered with Karandaaz Pakistan to digitise over 7 million accounts and certificate holders among which more than half of them are women.

Karandaaz Pakistan is a Pakistani company working for promoting access to finance for small businesses through commercially directed investments and financial inclusion for individuals.

In his meeting with Brekke, Abbasi appreciated that Telenor has created jobs for around 130,000 Pakistanis, directly and indirectly.

He acknowledged Telenor’s investment in the training and development of its workforce and thanked the CEO for providing many Pakistanis the opportunity to work in a progressive environment.

While recalling the inauguration of Telenor’s new headquarter in Pakistani federal capital, PM stated that he was pleased to observe the state-of-the-art facility that has set new standards for workplace environment in Pakistan.

Telenor CEO thanked the prime minister for facilitating Telenor’s operation in Pakistan and expressed the hope to further expand operations including trainings to Pakistani workforce in latest telecom technologies.

Brekke indicated that Telenor is actively looking at new investment opportunities in the liberal policy environment and that a supportive regulatory regime has provided the incentives for more investment.

Telenor has been operating in Pakistan since 2005 and has also launched convenient mobile financial transaction mechanism namely ‘EasyPaisa’. Telenor has so far invested over $3.5 billion in Pakistan.

In his meeting with Khowsroshahi, PM appreciated Uber for spearheading the model of a “sharing economy” and invited Uber to partner with Pakistani banks and the prime minister’s youth program to help drivers in financing vehicles for Uber.

Avenues and opportunities regarding effective participation by Uber in Pakistan’s economy in a meaningful manner were discussed during the meeting.

Abbasi assured them that the market holds a lot of potential for them and can provide the commuters added value for money. Uber is a global technology company, operational in 633 cities.

National health services, regulations and Coordination minister Saira Afzal Tarar, information, broadcasting and national heritage minister Marriyum Aurangzeb, special assistant to PM Ali Jehangir Siddiqui and senior government officials were present.