18 Mar 2023, 17:27

Stakeholders should work together to achieve 'Smart Bangladesh' by 2041: Speakers


DHAKA, March 18, 2023 (BSS) - Speakers at a conference today said that achievement of a trillion-dollar-plus economy requires all stakeholders to work together to address the issues and also to take bold steps and make necessary policy reforms.

They also came up with a number of recommendations for policy reformations in the areas like ensuring quality education and setting up of technical schools, ensuring digital education, development of IT infrastructures, setting-up of bonded warehouse, new employment creation, establishment of export potential industries, digitization of tax administration, increase of exports and remittances, paperless office and big data protection, increase of foreign direct investment, innovative economy. 

They also stressed the need for floating bonds for various large infrastructure projects so that the pressure of foreign exchange on financing such projects is not felt and thus foreign exchange is released for private sector growth.

Presently, the manufacturing and other essential goods importers are facing difficulty to some extent due to limited access to L/C opening. 

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh (ICAB) organized the conference on "Chartered Accountants' Role in Achieving Smart Bangladesh by 2041" today at a city hotel, said a press release.

Md. Abul Kalam Azad, Special Envoy, Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) Presidency graced the occasion as the chief guest while Kamal Quadir, chief executive officer, bKash was present as the special guest. 

ICAB President Md. Moniruzzaman, vice president MBM Lutful Hadee and ICAB chief executive officer Shubhashish Bose spoke on the occasion while Md. Humayun Kabir, ICAB council member and former president and chairman, Organising Committee, celebration of 50th Anniversary (Golden Jubilee) of ICAB moderated the entire technical sessions.
The speakers said the goal of Smart Bangladesh would be achieved through four components -- Smart government, Smart citizens, Smart economy and Smart society -- by 2041 while these should move together in a synchronized manner so that it becomes an inclusive growth towards prosperity.

They said the chartered accountants can play an enabling role to support the government in achieving its target to become Smart Bangladesh. 

They suggested various policy reforms should take place to facilitate the journey towards achieving the Trillion Dollar plus GDP target. 

The reforms are needed in the areas of taxation, FDIs, education system, cyber security, data sharing, exports diversification, simplification of various government processes to improve Ease of Doing Business metrics. 

In the technical session one and in the inaugural session, the keynote presenters on 'Smart Bangladesh: Understanding the Journey to 2041' were Mohammad Salahuddin, deputy secretary, Project Analyst, Aspire to Innovate Programme (a2i), ICT Division & UNDP; Dr. Bikarna Kumar Ghosh, former managing director, Bangladesh Hi-tech Park Authority; and Ahmed Raihan Shamsi, chairman & CEO, Devo Tech Technology Park Limited.
Panel discussants of the session were Mahtab Uddin Ahmed, vice president, ICMAB; AKM Aftabul Islam, director to the Board of Bangladesh Bank; Habibullah N Karim, vice president, MCCI and founder & CEO, Technohaven; and Samira Zuberi Himika, senior vice president, BASIS.
Bikarna Kumar Ghosh in is his key-note mentioned that the government has taken a mega plan to build nationwide Hi-Tech infrastructure network that include Bangbandhu Hi-Tech City at Kaliakoir, Sheikh Hasina Software Technology Park at Jashore, Janata Tower Software Technology Park at Dhaka, Bangabandhu Hi-Tech Park at Sylhet, Sheikh Kamal IT Incubator & Training Center at Rajshahi, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Hi-Tech Park at Rajshahi, Sheikh Kamal IT Business Incubator at CHUET, Khulna IT Incubation and Training Center at KUET along with IT Incubation and Training Centers in 8 districts in the country.
In the technical session two, Naser Ezaz Bijoy, chief executive officer, Standard Chartered Bank, Bangladesh presented a key-note paper on "Smart Bangladesh Achieving a Trillion-Dollar Plus Economy" and said decision makers should have the commitments to a sustainability strategy optimizing risks which are appropriate to the industry.
He said to make smart government and improve the ease of doing business, the business regulators should behave actively on the increased cost of compliance and erosion of shareholder value and advocate modernization of acts like Companies Act 1994 and Import and Exports Control Act 1950.
Alihussain Akberali also presented another key-note paper on "Smart Bangladesh: A Trillion-Dollar Plus Economy by 2041". The panel discussants were Hikari Kawai, president, Japan-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce & Industry; Md. Saiful Islam, president, MCCI; Zaved Akhtar, managing director & CEO Unilever Bangladesh Ltd; and Maliha Quadir, founder, Shohoz.
In the technical session- three, Md. Abdul Kader Joaddar, council member-ICAB and managing director & chief financial officer (CFO), Standard Chartered Bank and Sabbir Ahmed, council member-ICAB and Partner Hoda Vasi Chowdhury & Co., Chartered Accountants presented the key-note papers.


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