Pakistan’s largest tech conference and expo, Future Fest, was inaugurated today at Expo Lahore. The event is open to the public till 8th January 2023. Future Fest 2023 is hosting more than 250 speakers, 150 international guests from 15 countries, 100+ key partners and 20+ activities, and over 50,000 attendees. Dedicated to using technology to pave the way for the future of Pakistan, the event is bringing together leaders from more than 50 industries to foster discussion on the future of life itself. Entrepreneurs, decision makers, policymakers, thought leaders, investors, and innovators will discuss the most important aspects of current times and how technology can play a positive role to #SaveTheFuture. This year, the conference is hosting a historic delegation of Saudi startups and venture capitalists who will meet Pakistani companies and key stakeholders to explore investments, partnerships, acquisitions, and talent recruitment. This delegation and interest in Pakistan’s future indeed comes at an important time for Pakistan’s economy. At the opening ceremony, the President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Dr. Arif Alvi, Chief Guest delivered a virtual message, welcoming the delegates to the country and highlighting the great investment opportunities that the budding local tech industry has to offer. This was followed by keynote talks focused on the importance of investing in tech for our economy. Additional keynote talks were given by Dr. Arslan Khalid, Special Adviser to CM Punjab on IT, CIO Imarat Group of Companies, Azam Malik, Managing Director Ejad Labs & Chairman Pakistan Digital Media Association, and Arzish Azam, CEO Ejad Labs / Future Fest. There was also a Fireside Chat with Abdel Karim Samakie, Innovation Driven Enterprise Director – Digital Cooperation Organization, Rizwan Saeed Sheikh, Additional Foreign Secretary for Middle East -Ministry of Foreign Affairs Islamabad, and Faisal Sultan, VP & Managing Director, Lucid. In attendance was also Mr. Emran Akhtar, former Advisor to the Foreign Minister of Pakistan who initiated and led Pakistan’s joining of the Digital Cooperation Organisation as Founder Member in 2020. Later in the day, there were more than 50 keynotes, master classes, fireside chats, and panel sessions from top industry leaders who talked about diverse subjects ranging from web3, scaling tech, worldview, gaming, storytelling, policy and governance. A few highlight sessions from the day one of Future Fest 2023 included; Gaming by Waqas Ahmed, CTO – Hazel Mobile, The Art & Science of Communications by Selina Saadia Rashid Khan, CEO – Lotus Client Management & Public Relations; World View with Ahmad Mukhtar, Senior Economist – Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations; Junaid Qurashi, President – OPEN Silicon Valley; Saeed Mohammed Alhebsi, Advisor and Project Manager – Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation. A keynote by Dr. Umar Saif, Founder & CEO – Survey Auto. Experts like Aisha Sarwari, Director Public Relations, Communications, and Sustainability – Coca-Cola; Abid Cheema, Board member, and Executive Director Business Development – FDHL gave keynotes on policy & governance.