KARACHI (APP) - The overall size of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry in Pakistan has crossed more than $ 12 billion, of which $ 1 billion is foreign direct investment (FDI). This was stated by the Advisor to PM on Information Technology Sardar Latif Khan Khosa while speaking at the inauguration of 5th Information & Communications Technology Exhibition and Conference - CONNECT 2010 at Karachi Expo Centre here Saturday. He said Pakistan has one of the fastest growing the tele-density in the world, accelerating at a rate of 63.5 percent, while the neighbouring India is just 37 percent. Khosa said there are more than 95 million mobile connections in the country and are still growing in numbers. This is exponential growth as mobile telephone market has seen a 14-fold increase since the year 2000, he added. He said this signifies the importance of ICT sector and the further potential it holds for countrys economy. He said CONNECT brings to Pakistan a focused event in the dynamic fields of IT and telecom and provides a unique platform to the companies to showcase their products and services. The Advisor called upon IT professional to reach out entire Pakistan and spread IT in every nook and corner so that the people can take benefit of this dynamic technology. He also supported the idea for a greater cooperation and interaction between the government, industry and academia to get maximum benefits of information technology. The Advisor pointed out PPP provides a platform for the promotion of IT in the country under its manifesto which envisages support for right of information to the people. This is the vision of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto for IT and other sectors, he added. Later, taking to media, Sardar Khosa said the government has again invited foreign IT companies to restart their business in Khyber-Pukhtunkhawa and Balochistan. I have asked these companies to identify the quantum of damage to their infrastructure in Khyber-Pukhtunkhawa area due to on-going war on terror. They are also seeking a price differential for broad band expansion, but we have asked them to first start rehabilitation of their infrastructure and we have assured them to look into their demands. Similarly, broad band expansion and optic fiber laying activities will be started in Balochistan to provide a faster and dependable Internet access to the people of Balochistan. To a question, he said efforts are on to eliminate grey traffic in IT sector with the help of International Traffic Control Room. He said the government was implementing e-governance to encourage computerization in government working and provide LDI licenses. Earlier, Sindh IT Minister Mohammad Raza Haroon underlined the need for a greater interaction between the government, industry and academia to encourage research and development. Quoting a recent report of World Economic Forum, he said Pakistans ranking in world IT has been improved by 11 levels, but the lack of interaction between government, industry and academia has been affecting this progress. He underlined the need for developing Pakistans own brands in IT sector to get more foreign exchange in this sector. Minister for Science and IT Khyber-Pukhtunkhwa Muhammad Ayub Khan Ashari said that the provincial government was taking measure to computerize government record and it has computerized the record of provincial assembly. AJK IT Minister Sardar Farooq Ahmad Tahir said that IT education had been started from primary to degree level in seven districts of Azad Jammu Kashmir since 2006. He said government employees and ministers have been asked to get training of IT. Managing director Pakistan Software Export Board Zia Imranand director Pegasus Consultancy Aamir Khanzada also spoke on the occasion. Later, PM Advisor visited stalls and took keen interest in technology being displayed in the exhibition.