Delegation of Vimpelcom and Mobilink call on Anusha Rehman
ISLAMABAD ( ABRAR MUSTAFA )
Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has said that international business community’s confidence to invest in Pakistan has been restored due to the incentives-based transparent policies of the government.
The Prime Minister said this while meeting Mr Jean Yves Charlier, CEO VimpelCom who called on him at PM House today.
The Prime Minister said that the government’s clear policies have especially revolutionized the Telecom sector and successful launch of 3-G and 4-G in the recent past is a testimony to this. We are encouraging the telecom companies to expand their outreach to far-flung areas of the country so that majority of the masses benefit from the technology, added the Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister said that Pakistan offers an ideal environment for telecom sector as the country has one of the largest cellular phone subscribers. Our government believes in open and transparent business policies so that both local and foreign investors are further motivated to explore the business opportunities in Pakistan.
Terming the Telecom industry of Pakistan promising and vibrant, Mr Jean Yves Charlier appreciated the business friendly policies of the present government. The CEO VimpelCom said that Teledensity in Pakistan is one of the highest in the region which makes the country one the favourite destination for foreign investors.
The meeting was also attended by Ms Anusha Rehman Khan, MOS for IT and other senior government officials.
Later on State Minister for IT& Telecom Mrs.Anusha Rehman has said that the liberal and investment-friendly policies, economic reforms introduced by the present government and phenomenal development in IT & Telecom sector have made Pakistan a lucrative destination for both the foreign and domestic investors.
The Minister expressed these views during her meeting with a delegation of Vimpelcom Limited, a global provider of telecommunication services headed by its Global CEO Mr.Jean-Yves Charlier, at MOIT here in Islamabad today. Head of emerging markets Mr.Jon Eddy and CEO/President Mobilink in Pakistan ,Mr.jeffrey Hedberg were also part of the delegation.Federal Secretary IT,Mr. Azmat Ali Ranjha, was also present during the meeting.Chief Executive Officer, Vimpelcom Ltd, Mr.Jean-Yves Charlier apprised the Minister that Vimpelcom which is present in Pakistan by its brand name of Mobilink has decided to enhance its business in Pakistan beyond connectivity for its more meaningful participation for sectoral development .He also briefed the minister about their future investment and business plans in Pakistan.
The Minister said that Pakistan offers ample opportunities for investment in the Telecom sector and the government accords highest priority to the development of IT & Telecom sector.
We believe in growth through Public Private partnership and expect Mobilink to play a more meaningful role in realizing the vision of Digital Pakistan. She said that we are rigorously pursuing the vision of “Digital Pakistan” by connecting people of Un-served /Under-served areas who are still unconnected. Through USFCo, We have recently approved lots of to provide broadband and rural telephony services to remotest and far flung areas of the country, and Mobilink should consider proactively participating in such projects.
Anusha Rehman has further said that we believe in culmination of digital divide that’s why under-served and marginalized areas of the country are our main focus .We are establishing 500 tele-centers for people of these areas through USFCo. These tele-centers will not only create employability for the local people but also provide them basic e-services i.e e-health, e-education and e- agriculture .It will be a best model of public-private partnership for the welfare of the people .Mobilink being a significant Mobile entity in the sector, can come forward and participate in such endeavors of public welfare.
The Minister informed the delegates that we are focusing on the training and development of the young entrepreneurs therefore we are initiating National Incubation Centre,an incubation project for the practical training of young entrepreneurs and start ups
She further said that it’s our ardent desire to make ICT, a compulsory part of curriculum starting from primary level. Therefore we are devising an ICT curriculum for primary and secondary school children which will be handed over to the Ministry of Education subsequently.
CEO Vimpelcom, Mr.Jean-Yves Charlier appreciated the Telecom Policy being pursued by the present government which is a forward looking policy that has spurred healthy competition among the leading cellular companies and said that Pakistan telecom sector has great potential and Mobilink(Vimpelcom Subsidiary) intended to expand its network and operations in Pakistan.
Mr, Mr.Jean-Yves Charlier said that we have a common agenda and Mobilink is ready to partner with the GOP even beyond connectivity and plans to establish in Pakistan a resource hub to supports vimpelcom’s operations in other markets.
He thanked the Minister for meeting and reiterated his company’s commitment towards facilitating the people of Pakistan with modern ICT solutions.