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About 300,000 infotech enthusiasts visited the Dawn Group's extravaganza, "IT - The Future of Pakistan", which ended on Wednesday. The two-day exhibition was organized at the Export Promotion Bureau's Expo Centre here.

A number of professionals and technocrats, who visited the venue, belonged to the organizations having impressive presence on the international infotech scene. They wanted to find out first-hand whether they could do business with their Pakistani counterparts.

One of these individuals was Christian Morales, the vice-president of Intel Corporation, the co-sponsor of the exhibition. Mr Morales delivered the keynote speech at the opening session of the seminar which was held on Tuesday.

In his speech, he had stated that his organization took keen interest in Pakistan's efforts in the infotech sector because it had become the second-largest market in South Asia. He added that Pakistan had the potential of becoming a major player in the world IT market.

One of his associates said that their organization had donated a sizable amount to a university in the northern areas of the country. "This shows our commitment towards IT education in Pakistan," he said.

Ramesh Varadan, associated with an organization deals in a well-known PC brand, seemed impressed with the way the event had been organized. He told Dawn that his firm had recently signed an agreement with a Pakistani company for marketing their products.

In response to a question, he said: "We have set ourselves the target of selling in Pakistan half of all the PCs to be sold in the Saarc countries minus India. You see we want to have a big market share."

A technocrat representing Ramesh's partners in Pakistan said that at present between 300,000 to 350,000 PCs were sold annually in Pakistan. "This number is expected to rise sharply in the next couple of years," he said.

Francois Matraire of the Consulate General of France also visited the IT exhibition. He said that Pakistan had the potential to become an important player on the infotech scene. "This country does have potential but it has to go some way before this potential can be realized fully," he said.

He added that he had seen some interesting stalls at the exhibition. "I cannot now say if we will be doing business with all these people but let's hope that we do with most of them."

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