15 member trade delegation of Sweden led by H.E Ambassador Jonas Hafström, Senior Advisor to the Minister of Trade, called on the Minister of State for IT Mrs. Anusha Rahman today in Islamabad.
Minister counsellor Mr. Andres Sjoberg, MD Tetra Pak Mr. Stephen Johnsson, CEO Ericsson Pakistan Mr. Ashley Gold, Trade Commissioner Business Sweden Ms. Anna Liberg and other senior officials from the Embassy of Sweden were also part of the delegation.
Federal Secretary IT Mr. Ahklaq Ahmad Tarar, Chairman NTC Brig (Retd) Viqar Rashid Khan., Chairman PTA Dr. Ismail Shah and Member Telecom Mr. Muddasir Hussian were also present there.
In an interactive session Minister of State for IT shared with the delegates that the government of Pakistan is persistently pursuing the investment friendly policies which are very liberal on investment side while offering 100% ownership, 100% equity and tax incentives.
Minister said that after successful spectrum auction of 3G/4G investment opportunities in IT sector have increased manifolds. Teledensity in Pakistan is 75% which covers approximately 90% area of Pakistan while broadband teledensity, which is less than 2%, will be increasing in the wake of spectrum auction.
Minister of State for IT apprised the delegates regarding the future prospects of ICT sector which is expected to gain momentum after the introduction of 3G and 4G services in Pakistan. She said:
“We are concentrating on the establishment of Telecenters in order to provide e-services i.e. e-agriculture, e-health, e-education, e-commerce to the people of underserved and unserved areas of Pakistan.
We are focusing on local manufacturing, R&I and transfer of technology creating employment opportunities and GDP growth. We are going to build technology parks with international collaboration in order to provide a conducive environment for the ICT sector.”
The Minister further stated that the government is committed to establish local manufacturing of mobile handsets in collaboration with private sector partnership and invite Swedish companies to explore this local manufacturing, as an option, Minister added.
Member Telecom Mr. Muddasir Hussain gave a detailed presentation to the delegates regarding investment and collaboration opportunities in the ICT sector of Pakistan.
Head of the delegation H.E Ambassador Jonas Hafström appreciated the investment friendly policies of the present government of Pakistan while reciprocating the gestures; he maintained that Sweden considers Pakistan as a promising partner of investment and Sweden business community is also aware of the economic/investment potential specially in ICT sector of Pakistan and are keen to enhance mutual cooperation between both the countries.
He appreciated the determination of the government of Pakistan for initiation of dynamic measures to strengthen the ICT industry. He further assured the Minister the utmost cooperation of this government to enhance economic cooperation in diverse fields. A joint working group was constituted that will highlight three major areas of cooperation in ICT with expected deliverables and present a report within next 2 weeks, Minister added.