Int’l IT Companies look Pakistan as growing market: US envoy

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The United States ambassador to Pakistan David Hale on Tuesday said Pakistan, strategically located at the crossroads of Asia and the Middle East, was becoming a destination for International Information Technology (IT) Companies looking for growing markets.

In his address at the signing ceremony of an agreement between VMware Solutions and Meezan Bank at a local hotel in Islamabad, David Hale said Pakistan had enormous potential in IT as evident from the IT related exports which had grown by 41 percent in recent years.

David Hale said IT was one of the fastest growing sectors across Asia and telecom deregulation had been a key stimulant for its growth in Pakistan. He said the total contribution of Information Communications Technology (ICT) to Pakistan’s economy in 2016 alone was over Rs 169 billion ($1.6 billion).

The US envoy said US Companies like VMWare had played a pivotal role in the growth of Pakistan’s ICT sector.

“Other leading American technology companies have a significant presence here – Oracle, Microsoft, Cisco, Dell, and IBM to name a few,” he added.

The ambassador said VMWare’s share of Pakistan’s market was worth approximately Rs 735 million ($1 million), with a year-on-year growth rate ranging from 35 to 45 percent since 2015.

“We are working with the Pakistani government to identify investment opportunities and encourage an improved business climate for companies, including from America, to enter the market and compete freely,” he said.

Under the agreement, VMware Inc (NYSE: VMW), a global leader in cloud infrastructure and business mobility, will help Meezan Bank, Pakistan’s first and largest Islamic bank, modernize IT infrastructure across its 571 branches in 146 Cities of Pakistan.

With VMware’s consumer simple yet enterprise secure solutions, Meezan Bank’s modernized IT infrastructures allows the bank to respond faster to customer needs while elevating the security and reliability of its services across all 571 branches.

“This is just one of the many steps Meezan Bank will be taking to play its part to support the State Bank of Pakistan’s efforts to make Pakistan’s financial sector a digital leader in the decade ahead and to maintain Pakistan’s position as a mobile-first nation,” the Head of Information Technology and Digital Banking Meezan Bank Faizur Rehman said.

The agreement allows Meezan Bank to enter larger market segments and meet its growing business demands through IT.

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