Pakistan's digital economy gain momentum amid COVID-19

In the bad days of coronavirus pandemic, good things happened to the digital sector as Pakistan’s digital economy gain momentum during these hard days.

Pakistan’s digital economy gain momentum amid COVID-19

Since coronavirus lockdown is keeping people restricted to their homes, the flood of people for lawn, the breathable, cotton fabric has moved to digital shops.

Online shopping is on the peak for the last couple of months of the lockdown. Banks have removed charges on fund transfers through online banking channels. The central bank has started awareness campaigns targeting at limiting the use of currency notes and visits to banks.
E-commerce has been working at a slow pace. By the end of last year, the volume of e-commerce was totaled Rs100 billion (or only $640m). The concentration was on online financial transactions and greater volumes of e-commerce may mean at least double that much, benefiting the South Asian nation which is trying to keep its economy afloat as it battles infections from Covid-19 and people losing jobs.

It’s not just the world of e-commerce and finance that is going digital. The fashion sector is also on the list of digitalization. There were no spring or summer fashion weeks in the country this year.

The country’s top designers are getting ready themselves for a digital fashion show called ‘Catwalk Cares’ where 16 to 20 designers – who otherwise decided to go solo – will manifest about two to three outfits each.

Stylists are in the same way planning to style the models virtually – via FaceTime.

An online solo exhibition, titled Cultural Note, features 20 acrylic paintings by Ahmad Habib showing old Rawalpindi’s architecture that was all completed while the artist was restricted to his home during the coronavirus lockdown is on.

TV game shows, cooking shows, religious programs have adjusted themselves to the lockdown. Artistes have arranged online concerts. Now they are set to perform at a virtual programme meant to raise funds. Educational institutes across the country are trying to deal with the crisis at hand by providing education online. However, many students seem dissatisfied with the way this is being done.

A digital revolution in the healthcare system, economic planning, education, business and governance is expected in Pakistan after the restriction of the pandemic. Data-based government steps are also needed on reducing inequalities and climate action.

The Covid-19 pandemic has hastened Pakistan’s progress to digitization. As its people plug into a digital future, they should also feel the urgency to restore their connection to the nature that sustains them before it’s too late.