KARACHI - The 6th Information & Communications Technology Exhibition & Conference Connect 2011 was inaugurated at Karachi Expo Centre here Tuesday. Sindh Minister for Youth Affairs Syed Faisal Sabzwari inaugurated the show along with the chairman Pegasus Consultancy Aasim A. Siddiqui and Aamer Khanzada. Speaking on the occasion he said that his department has initiated a vocational training programme to train youth in different skills and information technology (IT) is the essential part of the programme, says a press release. He pointed out that government is striving hard to create a conducive environment for the promotion of IT sector in the province. We need to focus on IT and explore talent which is in abundant in the country, he added. Sabzwari said that Youth Affairs Department will start a career counselling project to guide youth in their career planning in every district of the province. Similarly, a youth entrepreneurship project has been started in cooperation with Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority (SMEDA) to groom young businessmen, he opined. He said the first project worth Rs 6 million has been launched in collaboration with Habib University Foundation. Lauding the idea of knowledge village for university students, at the exhibition, the minister said that this will encourage students to show their talent. He appreciated the organisers Pegasus Consultancy for holding exhibition and said more than 100 companies are showing their products. Managing director Pakistan Software Export Board Zia Imran said that Pakistan has exported $750 million software solutions last year. PSEB is facilitating software houses to expand their capability, capacity to further boost software exports, he noted. He said the Board will launch its incubator programme from Karachi today (Tuesday) and two more centers will be opened in Lahore and Islamabad. PSEB has invited expression of interest from software companies and initially six companies will be selected for this project to start with, he remarked. Imran urged the national companies to buy software applications from local software developers instead of looking for foreign software solution companies. Pakistani software houses are selling their solutions to worlds leading organisations like New York Stock Exchange and other countries. MD PSEB also advised software companies to develop Urdu Nastaleeq script for cellular companies. Chairman Pegasus Consultancy Aasim Siddiqui said that ICT professionals from more than 100 companies representing China, UAE, Hong Kong, UK, USA, India, Romania and Pakistan will be showing the state-of-the-art technology and solutions. He said that for the first time students from leading technology universities have been provided a chance to show their talent at knowledge village. These universities were selected with the help of Higher Education Commission (HEC), he added. They included NED University, SZABIST, Bahria University, Usman Institute, Allama Iqbal Open University, Institute of Business Technology, University of Gujrat, Indus Institute, NICE Newport Institute, University of Balochistan and Fatima Jinnah University. Later, the minister visited various stalls at the exhibition.