KARACHI: Numerous successful technology enterprises participating in the largest IT and Telecom event – ITCN Asia 2017 – have taken this forum as an opportunity to sign agreements worth more than $100 million to start collaborative ventures by combining their expertise and creating innovative solutions for industrial and social development. The 17th ITCN Asia 2017 – Pakistan’s biggest international exhibition and conference on Information Technology (IT) & Telecommunications, was organized at the Karachi Expo Centre, attracting more than 65,000 visitors in three days – September 19 to 21. The concurrent events of this year’s exhibition included Security Asia, Fire & Safety Asia, Lights & LED Asia and Consumer Electronics Asia. This year, the ITCN Asia’s scope proved to be greater than all its previous annual events, with numerous new features added to it. It is occupying over 150,000 sq feet of exhibition area, and expects more than 600 international & domestic brands with 150+ foreign delegates and participants from more than 25 countries. Well over 50 startup companies and experts along with 100,000+ visitors are expected to grace the event. It is designed to create major opportunities for business-to-business alliances, leveraging their mutual strengths for capacity-building in this fast-evolving industry. The ‘Knowledge Partner’ of the event – Institute of Business Administration (IBA) Karachi University organized two conferences on: “Challenges of Digital Security for Media” and “Role of ICT in Higher Education Institutions”. Acting US Consul General of USA – Mr. John Warner was the chief guest, while Mr. Imran Batada – Director ICT at IBA was the keynote speaker. The Center of Information Communication Technology (CICT) at IBA Karachi also signed various MoUs to help other universities in achieving their technology-goals. These institutions include: Quaid-e-Azam University Islamabad, IBA Sukkur, Jinnah Sindh Medical University, Benazir Bhutto Medical College Larkana and Benazir Bhutto University Lyari. The Project Director of ITCN Asia – Umair Nizam stated that: We are delighted to see the overwhelming response from the IT and Telecom industries. It reflects the resounding success of this annual mega-event that promises great enrichment to technology-based industries. Nearly 70 percent of the exhibitors have already confirmed their participation in the next year’s event, because they have gained tremendous mileage from this event. For the future, we have already planned for more exhibition space in the ITCN Asia 2018, because we will be hosting a much bigger number of foreign delegates and many more international companies as exhibitors. This vibrant event fosters fresh investments, public/private partnerships and concrete measures, to provide Broadband connectivity at affordable prices for the masses. Experts at this forum suggest a more conducive regulatory environment for the growth of tech-enterprises. The internet promises easier access to modern education across Pakistan’s vast rural communities. It has revolutionized global businesses and social-connectivity, to accelerate social development in all regions of the world. Published in Daily Times, September 24th 2017.