ICT sector attracted $8bn investment
The government would transform the country into a mini information superpower by 2025 through utilizing the country’s potential in information and communications technology (ICT) sector.
Speaking at a meeting of top Pakistani entrepreneurs, IT professionals and academia of Silicon Valley, the global capital of IT industry in San Jose, California, Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal said the size of country’s ICT sector could be increased from the existing $2 billion to over $20bn over the next decade.
- Pakistan was considered as one of the fastest-growing markets in ICT sector with a tele-density of around 74 per cent, and it had attracted an investment of over $8bn.
- The number of broadband subscribers had crossed 2.8 million in September this year with a growth rate of 100pc over the last three years.
- The country had become a leader in the region by launching WiMAX services.
- The country is also in a process of completing Spectrum Auction of 1.9/2.1 GHz of paired spectrum to introduce next generation mobile services by February 2014.
Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal said:
Pakistan has a large pool of English-speaking and technically skilled manpower in IT
He said a long-term plan 2025 was being developed which aimed at helping the country become a competitive economy in global market place. The minister said the government was encouraging local manufacturing of telecommunication equipment especially terminal devices and other fixed wireless terminals.
Investors are encouraged to establish research and development and manufacturing units in the IT/telecom domain to take advantage of a market of 180m people.
The government was assigning top priority to e-governance initiatives for transparency, improved service delivery, and bringing speed and efficiency in public sector. The government is setting up a state-of-the-art data centre for e-government.