IT, telecom firms eyeing Pakistan, says PM
ISLAMABAD, Sept 26: Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said on Tuesday Pakistan was geared to become the regional centre and strategic market for software development and research and development activities in information technology. He was talking to Huawei Technology President Ren Zhengfei who called on him along with a delegation at the Prime Minister’s House. According to an official announcement here, the prime minister said the government was investing in human capital to prepare a critical mass of highly qualified people in key areas of science and tech-nology to lead the development process. “We are gearing to take our due share of the knowledge economy by investing in education,” the prime minister pointed out.
Mr Aziz asked Huawei Technology to take advantage of the geo-strategic location of Pakistan and investment-friendly policies of the government and use Pakistan as a base to provide services to the Middle East and the Gulf region. He said due to the investment-friendly policies and comparative and competitive advantages that “we offer for doing business, Pakistan is now less costly than many regional countries and a number of companies, particularly those working in the fields of IT, telecom and media are shifting their businesses to Pakistan.” The prime minister said telecommunication today was the fastest growing sector of the country and had reached 27 per cent teledensity compared to 4.5 per cent four years ago. The country has 37 million cellular phone subscribers and the number is fast growing.
He said Islamabad was rapidly emerging as an IT and telecom hub and the government would develop one full sector as a technology park and all facilities for IT, telecom and engineering businesses will be made available there. Ren Zhengfei said encouraged by the investment-friendly policies of Pakistan, Huawei Technology had plans to expand their business in Pakistan, as a result of which the number of Pakistani IT and telecom professionals working in their operations would be enhanced to 1,000 from the present 500.