Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani has said that telecom sector in Pakistan has made enormous progress and the performance indicators are showing encouraging signs.
He said tele-density which was merely 2.3pc in 1999-2000 has now soared to 62.4pc which is highest in the South Asian Region. The total number of fixed and mobile subscribers has reached around 102.16 million while broadband connectivity has increased to 500,000 and is still showing a rapid increase, he added.
The Prime Minister expressed these views in a meeting with a delegation of Huawei Technologies headed by its CEO, August Ye, which called on him prior to the signing of agreement between Comsats Institute of IT and Huawei Technologies at the PM’s House this afternoon.
He said that Information and Communication Technology sector is considered as the engine of growth and socio-economic development of countries all over the world. The Prime Minister said now development of the countries is being measured in terms of their potential and performance in this sector. New technologies and innovating IT applications are transforming national and international economies, he added.
The Prime Minister said that in order to cater for the growing needs of telecom industry, quality human resource, especially, IT and Telecom specialists are of vital importance.
In this regard, he added, Government of Pakistan is placing special emphasis on enhancing the capacity of technical institutions, besides, undertaking Research and Development programs in well reputed institutions of Higher Education in Pakistan which is the cornerstone of our education and IT polices, he said.
The Prime Minister hoped that by blending Information and Communication Technologies with other modern streams of formal education, at all levels, educational system can be made more futuristic and progressive.
In this regard, he said a wide range of initiatives are being contemplated and hoped that positive changes would be visible in forthcoming years, as Pakistan would be able to bridge the existing gap between modern technologies and new learning.
The Prime Minister appreciated that Huawei Telecom is contributing significantly, towards the capacity building of Engineering Universities of Pakistan.
Huawei has already established an IT centre for research and development in the University of Engineering and Technology Lahore at a cost of over US $8 million.
The Prime Minister was informed that now Huawei Tech is rendering assistance to establish one more IT & Telecom center in COMSATS, Islamabad. The center will serve as the seat of advanced learning and skill development of telecommunication professionals. It will enable the students of regional universities to get well-equipped with latest techniques and technologies.
In addition to these initiatives, Huawei technologies have also committed to deliver the IT & Telecom equipment worth US $1 million to improve the functionalities of Electronic Government Directorate.
The Prime Minister said that Government of Pakistan recognises the valuable contribution being made by our time tested and all weather friend China, and, especially by Huawei Technology for capacity building in the field of IT & Telecom technologies.
He said that synergy with Huawei Technologies would strengthen Pakistan’s R&D capabilities and hoped that COMSATS Institute of Information Technology in collaboration with other regional universities would make best‘qse of this new facility.
He asked the Ministry of IT to make concerted efforts to promote ICT applications and to promote sustainable technological development in the country.
CEO Huawei, Mr. August Ye assure the Prime Minster that Huawei being a reliable and trustful partner of the Government of Pakistan and its telecom companies would continue providing advance technology in future.
He informed the Prime Minister that Huawei established its Pakistan office in 1998 and is now having technology cooperation with Pakistan organizations.
Huawei Pakistan is the leading telecom E2E solution provider and has more than 1600 employees which are composed of over 1400 Pakistanis.
Huawei is the only vendor which serves all the mainstream telecom operators of the country, he said.
He further apprised the Prime Minister that Huawei a world leading telecom solutions provider has achieved a target of over US $ 30 billion in 2009 and ranks top three in world telecom industry.
The meeting was attended by Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Qamar Zaman Kaira; Minister for Petroleum, Syed Naveed Qamar; Minister for Privatisation, Senator Waqar Ahmad Khan; Secretary IT and Secretary Priva