Pakistani software delegation explore avenues in India
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Pakistani software delegation explore avenues in India Pakistan Times Business & Commerce Desk
KARACHI: A 15-member delegation of IT and IT Enabled Service companies from Pakistan, led by Jehan Ara, President of the Pakistan Software Houses buttociation today returned to Karachi after a 9 day visit to Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bangalore.
During their visit, the members of the Pakistan delegation attended the NbuttCOM (National buttociation of Software and Service Companies) Annual Conference in Mumbai from February 8 - 10 after which, they visited major companies in Hyderabad and Bangalore.
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According to the delegates „the overall reception we got was absolutely overwhelming.š There was a keenness to work with the Pakistan software and services sector. A couple of major obstacles were however identified. Companies in both the countries are slightly uncertain of how the political climate will affect any investment that they make in each others‚ countries.
Another major obstacle that software and service companies see standing in the way of closer cooperation and collaboration is the visa issue. „Business people need to be able to move across borders at a day‚s notice,š said the PASHA President. „We cannot wait for weeks to have our visas processed,š she said. „Nor can we operate seamlessly with the restrictions on the cities we visited.
In Banglore members of the delegation visited the Infosys campus where they were welcomed by Narayan Murthy, the Chairman and Chief Mentor of lnfosys, who spent over an hour with them. Invited to visit Pakistan, Mr. Murthy immediately expressed a desire to do so. An official invitation will be sent to him soon. Jehan Ara said the visit was likely to take place in mid-June 2005. „Infosys is keen to work with Pakistan as Murthy believes that collaboration in the IT and ITeS areas will benefit both countries,š she said. Other companies visited by the delegation included Mphasis BPO, Moksha Technologies, MindTree Consulting, iFlex and Paprikaas Animation studios.
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In Mumbai the delegation held a meeting with the ICT Minister of India, Dayanidhi Maran who informed the delegation that he was very pleased that the two were collaborating and he hoped that software and service companies in India and Pakistan would work together to generate more business for the region. The Pakistan delegation also met with the Canadian and Malaysian companies who were attending the conference.
The President of India Abul Kalam joined over 1000 delegates at the Nbuttcom event via video conference. Jehan Ara was one of 12 people to pose questions to President Kalam.
In Hyderabad the delegation met Speaker of the Andhra Pardesh Legislative buttembly, the Provincial Ministers of Education and Finance and the former Chief Minister of Andhra Pardesh Chandarbabu Naidu. During the discussions with government officials, it was suggested that both countries would benefit from a student exchange program whereby students from Pakistan could study in India and students from India could study in Pakistan. Chandarbabu Naidu volunteered to speak to some of the schools of higher learning in Hyderabad regarding offering of scholarships to talented students from Pakistan.?
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