Pakistan a secure place for information technology investment: Musharraf -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Pakistan a secure place for information technology investment: Musharraf

LOS ANGELES- President General Pervez Musharraf has said Pakistan with its skilled manpower, growing economy and improved security environment offers attractive opportunities for foreign investment in information technology (IT).

Addressing a roundtable conference with American and Pakistani IT entrepreneurs on June 27th, 2003, the President said Pakistan has taken a series of initiatives to materialize a network of IT facilities across the country, and due to growing economy and talented manpower it offers thriving business prospects.

He particularly referred to improved security in the country and brushed aside the impression aired in parts of international media to the contrary.

“Pakistan is a very secure place, the perception aired by vested interests is far from reality,” he asserted.

He referred to a Time magazine story that painted a wrong picture of security in Pakistan on the basis of an incident that took place last year in Karachi and said the situation in the port city has improved manifold since then.

“I would ask you to visit and experience yourself before deciding to invest,” he urged the assembly of prominent IT business executives.

He said the Internet access is now available in more than 1600 towns and cities of the country, the bandwidth rates have been reduced drastically, there is enough liquidity, interest rates are low, no restrictions on money transfers, the country’s credit rating is up and above all the young IT talent is hardworking, focused and inexpensive.

The American and Pakistani entrepreneurs appreciated the initiatives taken by President Musharraf in paving the way for investment with a speedy provision of necessary infrastructure.

Tom Slone, Chief Executive Officer, Touchstone Communications, who recently set up an office in Islamabad, said his company reviewed critically facilities and all business related factors in several countries of the world, including India, but found Pakistan the most suitable place for investment.

“The people are hardworking, know English very well and the government has also been forthcoming with all help. We have been very comfortable in the Pakistani capital,” he said, sharing his recent stay in Pakistan.

Touchstone has started off with a 50-member staff and according to the CEO, the company would expand its business to the level of 4,000 employees within two years.

Matt Ocko, Managing Director, Archimedes, said the company has found Pakistani IT experts to be a big boost for it in the Middle East.

He said the company intends to move four to five billion dollars from Western assets to Pakistan as the country offers all the material for successful business.

Pakistani-American businessmen, including prominent investors Shafi Qureshi, Shadman Zafar of telecom company Verizon, Dr Sana Khan and Mustafa Sayed floated a number of proposals for improved infrastructure in Pakistan.

Safi Qureshi asked the American entrepreneurs to approach Pakistani business executives and use them as catalysts for availing the facilities in the country.
Source: Business Recorder
Date:6/29/2003