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Pakistan: Connect 2010 Starts at Exposition Centre - ICT Sector Surpasses $12 Billion Mark
Source: brecorder.com
Source Date: Sunday, May 09, 2010
Focus: Citizen Engagement, Internet Governance
Country: Pakistan
Created: May 17, 2010

KARACHI (May 09 2010): Advisor to PM on Information Technology, Sardar Latif Khan Khosa on Saturday said that the country's information and communication technology (ICT) sector had surpassed $12 billion mark with $1 billion of foreign direct investment (FDI). Speaking at the inaugural session of fifth Information and Communications Technology Exhibition and Conference - Connect 2010 at Expo Centre, he said that the country had the potential to grow further in the field of IT. He pointed out that Pakistan had one of the fastest growing teledensity in the world at a rate of 63.5 percent as compared to the teledensity rate of 37 percent in India.

Khosa apprised the participants that the cellular phone spread in terms of connections had gone over 95 million in the country which, according to him, was further increasing and termed it as an "exponential" growth as mobile telephone market had gone up 14-fold since 2000. Expressing satisfaction, he said that the growth in cellular phone market had an immense potential to thrive the country's economy. He hoped that the CONNECT, the IT fair would help the Pakistan receive a attention from companies of the same field, saying that it had provided IT and telecom sector companies a better platform to exhibit their products as well as services.

Khosa also stressed on benefiting from the technology, urging the professional to help the people acquire knowledge and expertise of IT across the country. Advisor said that there should be interaction and co-operation between the government, industry and academia to share their expertise about the field and get maximum benefits. He said that his government was committed to extend all-out support for the promotion of IT, as the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) manifesto said and supported the right of information to people as their fundamental right. Later Khosa told reporters about the government's move of inviting the foreign IT companies to resume their businesses in Khyber-Pukhtunkhwa and Balochistan.

He said that the government had asked the foreign companies to identify the volume of damage to their infrastructure in Khyber-Pukhtunkhwa in the war against terror. The broadband spread and the optic fibre lying will begin in Balochistan to provide the people with a faster and dependable Internet facility there, he said. He said, while answering to a question, that the government was making efforts to eliminate grey traffic in IT sector with the help of International Traffic Control Room. Khosa said that the government was implementing e-governance system, besides providing LDI licenses. Advisor later paid visits to different stalls of IT and telecommunication. Earlier, Sindh IT Minister Mohammad Raza Haroon, Minister for Science and IT Khyber-Pukhtunkhwa Muhammad Ayub Khan Ashari and IT Minister of AJK Sardar Farooq Ahmad Tahir spoke about their respective governments' efforts for IT growth.
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