Pakistan accords High Priority to accelerated digitization for Socio-Economic Development and Growth: Anusha Rahman

Colombo, November 13, 2013 (PPI-OT): Minister of State for IT and Telecommunications Ms. Anusha Rahman Ahmad Khan attended the Commonwealth Business Forum Programme “Partnership Roundtable: Digital Growth and ICT” today in Colombo. She was accompanied by an eight member delegation representing Pakistan’s IT sector. The Roundtable was chaired by Professor Tissa Vitharana, Minister of Science and Technology of Sri Lanka.

The other participants of the Roundtable included Patrick Bitature, Chairman, SimbaTel, Uganda, Sudhir Narang, Managing Director, BT India, Sabur Khan, President, DCCI and Managing Director, Daffodil Computers Ltd, Bangladesh and Milind Kangle, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Lycamobile.

Addressing the heavily attended gathering, the Minister of State of IT and Telecom highlighted the investment friendly policies of the present government and the immense investment opportunities available in the IT and Telecom sector of Pakistan.

She underlined that the vision of present government under the leadership of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is accelerated digitization to enable socio-economic development, expanding knowledge based economy and promoting economic growth. The government accords highest priority to the development of ICT infrastructure and applications for the provision of quality services, education, employment generation, and women empowerment, she added.

Ms. Anusha Rahman emphasized that Pakistan maintains a sophisticated telecom network providing voice and data services throughout the country. She highlighted the country’s telecom infrastructure which now consists of more than 125 million mobile connections, 2.99 million fixed lines, 2.9 million WLL subscribers, 19.8 million internet subscribers, 15.7 mobile internet subscribers in addition to 2.8 million broadband subscribers.

The Ministry of Information Technology (MoIT) through its initiatives like the Virtual University, Universal Service Fund Company and National ICT R and D Fund Company is promoting ICT opportunities to achieve these goals.

Some of these programs are models and are being replicated by other countries. Improved access to information and knowledge, education and delivery of public service through state of the art ICT facilities has greatly helped in promoting growth and minimizing poverty in the country.

She maintained that the new avenues for foreign investors included the upcoming auction for 3-G spectrum band scheduled in February 2014 for which a very competitive environment is building up.

The Minister touched base with the prominent international IT executives present in the gathering to discuss matters of mutual interest

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