Pakistan wants Facebook’s parent company to establish local office

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari (centre) speaks to META officials on the sidelines of the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, USA on September 21, 2022. — Radio Pakistan
  • FM Bilawal Bhutto Zardari met Nick Clegg of META on the sidelines of UNGA.
  • Metta confirms interest in continued engagement with Pakistan.
  • Clegg says Metta’s Pakistan team consists entirely of Pakistani professionals.

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has asked a senior META official to open an office of his company in Pakistan to facilitate communication between local authorities and the social media giant.

Facebook is now called Meta, the company announced last year, in a new brand that focuses on building a “metaverse,” a shared virtual environment that it bets will be the successor to the mobile Internet.

The Foreign Minister met Nick Clegg, META’s Global Affairs President, on the sidelines of the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), where he is part of the delegation representing Pakistan.

Speaking about the opportunities available in Pakistan, the foreign minister said the country has a tech-savvy youth population (64 percent under the age of 30), high teledensity, massive digitization of the economy, and a business-friendly regulatory system.

“Pakistan’s IT sector has registered strong growth in the recent past, opening up new opportunities for platforms like Meta to expand their operations in Pakistan,” the foreign minister told an official of the social media company.

Clegg said Metta’s Pakistan team consists entirely of Pakistani professionals. He apprised the Foreign Minister about META’s ongoing connectivity and capacity building programs in Pakistan.

Clegg reaffirmed META’s interest in continued engagement with Pakistan to explore ways to further strengthen cooperation in the digital space.

In October last year, the government introduced the Removal and Blocking of Illegal Online Content (Procedure, Monitoring and Security) Rules, 2021, which directed social media platforms to notify the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) Register yourself with However, it has not borne any fruit so far.

Flood relief

FM Bilawal also thanked META for donating Rs 125 million for humanitarian aid to Pakistan in the wake of the deadly floods.

FM Bilawal noted, “These are trying times for Pakistan and this donation will go a long way towards our flood relief efforts.”

The Foreign Minister said that the complete recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction work after the floods could not be accomplished without the support of the private sector.

In response, Clegg expressed his solidarity and sympathy with Pakistan over the unprecedented flood devastation.

Record monsoon rains and snowmelt in northern Pakistan triggered floods that affected about 33 million people in the South Asian country of 220 million, causing $30 billion in damage to homes, crops, bridges, roads and livestock. Scientists say that this disaster has increased due to climate change.

Millions of people displaced by the floods are living in the open and hundreds of kilometers (miles) of floodwaters have begun to recede – which officials say could take two to six months. – Diseases like malaria, dengue are spreading due to stagnant water. Fever, skin and eye infections and severe diarrhea.

In what UNICEF described as a “dark beyond” situation, it said an estimated 16 million children had been affected by the floods, and at least 3.4 million girls and boys were in need of immediate, life-saving assistance. need of

The government says GDP growth is likely to fall to 3 per cent in the 2022-23 financial year from the previous estimate of 5 per cent.

– Additional input from writers

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