with populations larger than entire countries are changing
the physical and economic landscape of the globe. Megacities
have economic engines that are powering the future of the
world. Megacities have larger markets than many developed
megacities are coming. They are the future. They are here
Pakistan's, population of 14 million is augmented by an
equal number of people in nearby satellite towns. The Karachi
area has more people than Canada and an airport smaller
than modest U.S. towns such as Harrisburg, Pennsylvania,
Indianapolis, Indiana, or Tallahassee, Florida.
are the good times for Pakistan," said the Cathay
Pacific manager in Los Angeles, who is originally from
Karachi. Decades of neglect are being compensated (and
in some cases overcompensated) by the government of President
Pervez Musharraf. Investment is pouring in from countries
in the Persian Gulf, from India, and especially from China.
is building a massive port in a Karachi suburb that sits
at the entrance to the Persian Gulf. China sees Pakistan
as a means to expand its market presence throughout the
U.S. firms, burdened by preconceptions, are holding back.
American firms are afraid to even market computer hardware
and software to a rapidly expanding market that is flush
with cash and ready to spend.
IT firms are gradually moving in because their own software
economy has experienced labor shortages and price increases.
Pakistan is 30 percent cheaper than India for information
technology outsourcing. According to Karachi-based Alt-Source
Communications, Karachi alone has 300,000 English-speaking
job seekers in the 18 to 35 year old range who are interested
in and qualified for call center work.