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POST TIME: 8 September, 2018 00:00 00 AM
ICT sector looks promising

ICT sector looks promising

We hope that the country’s ICT sector will soon surpass the readymade garment sector as the country’s leading foreign exchange earner. This hope is strongly grounded in reality. Bangladesh has made remarkable progress in the sector, especially in the last five years or so. Bangladesh currently has three fibre optic connections with India apart from submarine cables. The government has plans to establish similar connections with Nepal and Bhutan and fibre optic cable connections had been ensured up to Rangpur. Six years ago, the total export from the ICT sector was 26 million dollars; total employment in the ICT sector was a couple of thousand programmers only.

Now the yearly export from the ICT sector has crossed 300 million dollars, around two lakh jobs have been generated in this sector, of which more than 25 thousand employments have been generated in this BPO (business process outsourcing) sector. Work is going on regarding the establishment of two hi-tech parks in Gazipur and Jessore. Software and hardware industries working on ICT will be employed for these massive establishments. The parks will be connected by both road and railway to facilitate investors. The authorities have provided high-speed internet connectivity in public universities at no cost.

International investors have been quite appreciative of the recent developments in the country's ICT sector, the investment climate and the potential for return on equity in Bangladesh. Today the term “Digital Bangladesh” has become the new mantra of development. The widespread use of the term clearly signals the government's emphasis on the development of the information and communication technology. Accordingly, the government has formed a separate ministry in 2011 and has employed huge amount of resources in several projects.

The outsourcing market is emerging in Bangladesh in a big way. The government is running a number of projects to encourage the youth of the country to take up outsourcing jobs. However more training is essential regarding training of the youth so that they can take the opportunity that outsourcing can bring. Many youngsters can become self-employed by taking advantage of the benefits of modern technology. Women should also be involved in a bigger way.

The information and communication technology (ICT) revolution has been rightly hailed as the enabling force for developing countries to become more active participants in the global economy. The rapidity with which the 160 million Bangladeshis are embracing the Internet is a marker on which the country’s  entrepreneurial leaders can pin their hopes for the future.