Pakistan to seek US investment in information technology sector: minister -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Pakistan to seek US investment in information technology sector: minister

KARACHI- Pakistan, fighting an uphill battle to attract foreign investors, will be hoping to woo US information technology firms when President General Pervez Musharraf meets industry executives in Los Angeles on June 27, 2003.

The president, who is on a week-long visit to the United States, will be accompanied in Los Angeles by three senior IT and telecommunications officials.

“The government is focussed on promoting information technology,” IT Minister Awais Leghari told sources, adding that it was especially keen to see US call centres in Pakistan.

He said four or five such centres had already been working and the government had cut communications charges by 10 to 15 percent and upgraded its telecommunication system.

Leghari said that the government has planned further reductions. “Our rates are not as low, but they are not very high either. We will cut them further,” he said, adding that the satellite bandwidth was also being provided to ensure reliable service.

Leghari said that the government also hoped to attract investment in the software industry, another area in which India has been highly successful.

However, industry officials said Pakistan needed to implement effective copyright protection to secure serious investment in this sector, as rampant piracy has seriously undermined growth in the local industry.

They said Pakistan also faced a tough task changing its image as a country of high political risk, a factor, which has discouraged investment by even Pakistani expatriates.

Analysts said India’s IT sector has benefited from better education and skills than those in Pakistan.

Leghari argued Pakistani skill levels had improved and said now there was no shortage of trained IT specialists.

Source: Business Recorder
Date:6/28/2003