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Christian Morales, Vice-President and General Manager Intel Asia-Pacific has stated that the growth of Pakistan PC market was growing at an impressive rate of 45 per cent annually and a strong focus was now needed to develop the e-commerce Internet applications market.

Talking to The News, Morales stated that the steps taken by the present government were pragmatic and praised the efforts of Minister for Science and Technology Prof Dr Attaur Rahman in this regard.

Morales called on Atta earlier in the day. On the occasion he also donated a computer lab to the National University of Science & Technology (NUST). The lab comprises of more than 30 Intel Pentium III processor based workstation, a suite of Intel networking products and an Intel Xeon server.

Morales told this correspondent that reduction in bandwidth prices would help popularise Internet. He also appreciated the inclusion of IT in curriculum and government's initiatives in distance learning. He, however, emphasised the need to adopt the online mode of working more aggressively. He stated that a deliberate effort needed to be made in Pakistan to move away from fax and telephone based style of working.

He stressed the need to raise Internet dedicated infrastructure and data centres for the growth of online traffic. Morales stated that Intel had one of the highest e-commerce usage records and online sales had doubled in a year's time. He said the dotcom market was beginning to settle down and Intel's senior management believed in bringing in even better products during the slowdown phase.

He said Intel would invest $4 billion in research and $7 billion in new factories with the resolve to introduce better and new products. Morales said despite negative market conditions, Intel registered a 15 per cent growth in sales with overall annual sales of $33.5 billion. It also witnessed a profit growth of 46 per cent.

He informed that Intel acquired 16 companies during the period adding that the company had invested in more than 550 companies and established a $200 million investment fund for Asia. He said 70 companies had already benefited from Intel investments in Asia. Kamil F Hasan, area sales manager and country head told The News that an installment-based PC sale project would be launched in collaboration with other market players. "The project is aimed at increasing PC density in the country."

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