Pakistan to fully cooperate with ITU in expansion of IT services

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MIGA keen to engage with Pak private sector to facilitate FDI, says CEO MIGA-WB

Mian Arshad

Islamabad—The Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar, Tuesday, assured full cooperation to Secretary General International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Houlin Zhao in the expansion of IT services not only in Pakistan but the whole region. Speaking in a meeting with delegation of ITU led by Houlin Zhao, he said that visit of the delegation had provided Pakistan an opportunity to strengthen its existing ties with ITU and opened new horizons of cooperation in ICTs.
The Finance Minister welcomed the guest and congratulated him on being elected as the Secretary General of ITU. The Minister also acknowledged the services of ITU as specialized agency of the United Nations for Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to standardize and regulate international radio and telecommunications and ITU’s special services to Pakistan in managing disaster relief communications in the wake of natural disasters. Houlin Zhao, the Secretary General of ITU, appreciated the efforts of the government in the development of IT sector in the country.
He also said that it is the agenda of ITU to support and further increase the presence of small and medium size entrepreneurs in the IT sector for the development of the industry and attracting further investment in the sector particularly in application development. He suggested that Pakistan should develop strategies to become more involved in such projects which promote regional connectivity through the use of fiber optic cable.
The Finance Minister said that telecommunication industry has thrived in Pakistan during the last decade and has significantly contributed to the GDP of the country. He also said that “it is the vision of the government to make maximum efforts for the development of the IT sector and for technical inclusion of the population of Pakistan in the World of telecommunication services.” The Minister specially recognized the services of the Minister of State for IT Anusha Rehman Khan who has played a key role in the promotion of IT sector and related infrastructure in Pakistan.
Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer of Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) of the World Bank, Keiko Honda, called on Finance Minister, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar. Keiko Honda said that MIGA was keen to engage with private sector look for opportunities to facilitate foreign direct investment in Pakistan. She further said that engagement with private sector would also raise profile and to increase awareness about its products and look for opportunities to facilitate foreign direct investment in Pakistan.
MIGA, as key institution of the World Bank Group, offers Political Risk insurance products. The agency works with investors across manufacturing, services, transportation/logistics, infrastructures as well as power sector. Keiko Honda said that MIGA was supporting a number of projects in Pakistan and was deeply interested to expand the portfolio. She said that it was the first ever visit of MIGA CEO to Pakistan, which is an indication of the increasing interest the Agency in Pakistan. She said the agency could consider expanding scale of its coverage for Pakistan and actively play its role in accordance with the country partnership framework that the World Bank Group has committed with the Government of Pakistan.
Finance Minister welcomed the visiting delegation and thanked Ms Keiko for accepting the invitation to visit Pakistan. He gave a brief overview of Pakistan’s current economic profile and said that Pakistan had made visible strides in terms of improvement in the economy over the last three years. He said that the forex reserves were at the highest ever level of $23 billion while revenue collection of Rs3112 billion showing 60 per cent increase compared to three years ago is also unprecedented. Economic growth of 4.71 per cent is highest in the last 8 years. International rating institutions has recognized these achievements and improved country’s credit rating.

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