Prime Minister of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina
The growth of Bangladesh’ economy is one of the fastest in the world. There is no denying the fact the land of tigers is growing to overtake some of the fastest growing countries in the world – even India, which is believed to touch 8% by 2020.
Bangladesh was 105th in the Global Competitiveness Report 2019 from the World Economic Forum. By 2030, Bangladesh will be the 24th largest economy. Similarly, by 2021, Bangladesh expects its ICT exports to be worth $5 billion.
Minister of State for Information and Communication Technology, Ministry of Post, Telecommunications and Information Technology, Bangladesh
In Bangladesh, more than 120 companies export ICT products worth nearly $1 billion to 35 countries. By 2021, it is expected that this will touch $5 billion. Launched by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in 2009, the Digital Bangladesh Vision identifies human resource development, connecting citizens, digital government and the promotion of the ICT industry as critical to meeting these transformation targets.
The government wants Bangladesh to be a gateway for the digital world and has started multiple initiatives to develop a skilled, equipped and digital-ready pool of talent. The country produces more than 500,000 university graduates every year and have trained more than 65,000 IT/ITeS professionals in the past year.
According to the Oxford Internet Institute, Bangladesh has the second largest pool of online workers in the world. To further enhance skills, we have established specialized labs in all of the country’s 130 universities. We are investing in frontier tech centres of excellence with global technology partners such as IBM, and we have a strong focus on training professionals in emerging technologies – the Internet of Things, blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and analytics.
Bangladesh is committed to ensuring 100% internet connectivity by 2021. The country has more than 93 million internet subscribers and 160 million mobile subscriptions throughout the nation making the country the fifth largest mobile market in Asia Pacific.
The country ensures seamless connectivity through two submarine cable connections with 1,700 gigabits per second (Gbps) and seven ITC connections with 400 Gbps. Bangladesh further plans to enhance this by becoming an early adopter of 5G.
Bangladesh is building 28 high-tech parks around the country and plan to increase this to 64.
The government is proactively pursuing the digitalization of all government portals, such as passport applications and visa applications, by the year 2023.
Towards, achieving the growth of the ICT sector, republic of Bangladesh has laid out an elaborate National ICT Policy in 2002.
As per the policy the country visualises country-wide ICT-infrastructure to be developed to ensure access to information by every citizen to facilitate empowerment of people and enhance democratic values and norms for sustainable economic development by using the infrastructure for human resources development, governance, e-commerce, banking, public utility services and all sorts of on-line ICT-enabled services.
The objective is to give a thrust to the ICT sector and expeditious development of Software industry and its export. It provision effective incentives for development of ICT sector to both local and foreign entrepreneurs, develop an efficient ICT infrastructure that provides open access to international and national network; promote and facilitate use of ICT in all sectors of the economy for transparency, good governance and efficiency improvement.
It also encompasses establishing legislative and regulatory framework for ICT issues like IPR, data security and protection, digital signature, e-Commerce, ICT education etc. as well as to ensure quality ICT education provided by different private organizations.
The government is also committed to promoting use of ICT by providing special allocations for ICT project implementation in the public sector. Bangladesh also expedites training the decision makers in ICT use and promote a ICT culture, developing a large pool of world class ICT professionals to meet the needs of local and global markets and setting up a very high quality ICT institution to continuously promote and foster ICT Industry.
During ‘Digital Device and Innovation Expo-2019’, Prime Minister of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina said that Awami League government has transformed the country into a Digital Bangladesh by making information technology accessible to all, including the marginal people, through efficient, service-oriented and ICT-friendly services in the last ten and a half years.
“We are also working to launch Bangabandhu Satellite-2 and to connect with Submarine Cable-3. Bangladesh has emerged as a ‘Role Model’ of socio-economic development,” she said.