The overall size of the Information and Communication Technology industry in Pakistan has risen above $12 billion, including $1 billion under foreign direct investment (FDI), an official said on Saturday.
Addressing the inaugural ceremony of 5th Information and Communications Technology Exhibition and Conference, CONNECT 2010 at the Karachi Expo Centre, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Information Technology, Sardar Latif Khan Khosa said that Pakistan has one of the fastest growing tele-density in the world, accelerating at a rate of 63.5pc, while neighbouring India has just 37 per cent.
There are more than 95 million mobile connections in the country, which are still growing in numbers, he said, adding that this is exponential growth as mobile telephone market has seen a 14-fold increase since 2000.
This signifies the importance of the Information and Communication Technology sector and further potential it holds for the economy, he said.
CONNECT brings to Pakistan a focused event in the dynamic fields of IT and telecom and provides a unique platform to the companies to showcase their products and services, he said and called upon the IT professionals to reach out the entire Pakistan and spread IT in every nook and corner so that the people can take benefit of this dynamic technology.
He also supported the idea for a greater cooperation and interaction between the government, industry and academia to get maximum benefits of information technology.
Later, taking to media, Khosa said that the government has again invited foreign IT companies to restart their business in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.
“I have asked those companies to identify the quantum of damage to their infrastructure in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa area due to the ongoing war on terror,” he said.
Companies are also seeking a price differential for broadband expansion, but the government has asked them to first start rehabilitation of their infrastructure and then the government will look into their demand of price differential, he added.
Similarly, broadband expansion and laying of optic fibre will be started in Balochistan to provide a faster and dependable Internet access to the people of the province. To a question, Khosa said that efforts are afoot to eliminate grey traffic in the IT sector with the help of International Traffic Control Room.
The government is implementing e-governance to encourage computerisation in the working and is providing LDI licences, the adviser said.