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Our IT export should exceed garment export: Joy

DHAKA, Dec 9, 2015 (BSS) – Reiterating his commitment to further help flourish country’s ICT sector, Prime Minister's Information and Communication Technology Affairs Adviser Sajeeb Wazed Joy today said it is his personal goal to make Bangladesh’s IT export exceeding its garment export.

“I feel honored to bring the vision 2021 to light. In just six years, we have transformed the country. Six years ago, there was nothing digital in Bangladesh. Our internet penetration was just .3 percent. Today it has crossed 30 percent. We have laid six submarine cables as backup so that our internet connectivity does not get cut off,” he said.

Joy came up with the observation while inaugurating BPO Summit, 2015 at city’s Hotel Sonargaon this morning. Organized by ICT Division and BACCO, Bangladesh Association of Call Center & Outsourcing, the function was presided over by State Minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak, MP.

FBCCI president Abdul Matlub Ahmed, ICT secretary Shyam Sunder Sikder, Imran Ahmed, MP, chairman of parliamentary standing committee on the ministry of posts, telecommunications and information technology ministry and WITSA chairman Santiago Gutierrez addressed the function, among others.

“Six years ago, when we started our journey of Digital Bangladesh, 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. There was no sector called BPO six years ago in Bangladesh,” Joy said.

Narrating the initial struggle of the present government for establishing IT industry in the country, the young adviser said, “There was no facility in Bangladesh to establish BPO sector six years ago. We didn’t have power, we didn’t have connectivity. The price of internet was so high that only the big companies could afford that.

“Earlier there had been load-shedding for seven to eight hours daily, but it is impossible to run outsourcing and ICT industry without power. Now there is nothing called load-shedding in Bangladesh.”

“Last year, we have provided around 30 thousand youths with training. In future, we will provide training to 50 thousand youths yearly in outsourcing and software development. Six years ago, no one could think of such a dream, such a vision,” Sajeeb Wazed Joy added.

He said, “Now our income from the BPO sector is 100 million dollars, it will cross 1 billion dollars in future. The current employment in this sector is 25 thousand, our target is to cross two lakh in the next five years. I feel honored to have the opportunity to bring the vision 2021 to light.

Joy further said, “We have established digital centers in over 5,500 locations throughout Bangladesh. We have given special importance to IT training starting from primary education. We have established thousands of multimedia classrooms.

“Six years ago, we barely had 2G connectivity, now we have 3G, and 4G is coming and we are about to have the auction next year. We hope to become a developed country not just a middle-income country. Our economy has to become a consumer-driven economy. That is the vision of Digital Bangladesh.”

The Summit agenda has been carefully crafted to raise and address a variety of issues that Bangladesh faces to emerge as a global outsourcing hub aligned with the Digital Bangladesh Vision 2021. It also paves the way for industry experts and clients to meet under one roof and exchange their ideas and thoughts for an enhanced vision and making new steps towards innumerable possibilities.

More than 20 thousand people including corporate, institutional and individual buyers will attend the two-day summit. The organizers are expecting over 50 thousand core community visitors, while more than 10 foreign speakers will share their knowledge and expertise in the seminars. There is facility of on-the-spot recruitment in the summit.

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