UK entrepreneurs invited to invest in Bangladesh's thriving IT sector
Publish- February 05, 2020, 04:01 PM
UNB NEWS - UNB NEWS
Update- February 05, 2020, 04:21 PM
State Minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak has invited the entrepreneurs of the United Kingdom to take advantage of Bangladesh's thriving IT sector, which has become the most attractive destination for investment.
"Over the past decade, Bangladesh transformed from a least developed country to a middle-income state through leveraging the power of ICT,” he said.
Palak said this shift has been possible because of a clear vision led by the strong leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, and her ICT Affairs Adviser Sajeeb Wazed.
He made the remarks at a high-profile investment seminar at the British Parliament in London recently, said a press release on Wednesday.
Bangladesh High Commission in London organised the seminar to showcase the tremendous opportunities that the Bangladesh IT sector offers to the foreign investors.
Bangladesh High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and Ireland Saida Muna Tasneem gave the welcome speech at the seminar titled “Investing in Digital Bangladesh: Fintech to Hitech”.
UK Minister for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Matt Warman, Ranbir Singh Suri, David Howell, Jitesh Gadiha, Valerie Vaz, MP, Stephen Metcalfe, MP, Stephen Timms, MP, attended the seminar.
Academics and eminent personalities from Bangladeshi-British Diaspora along with around 150 British and Bangladeshi-British entrepreneurs participated in it while many of them also took part in discussions expressing their keen interest in investing in Bangladesh IT sector.
Palak gave a brief presentation on the significant progress that the government brought in the ICT sector in the past one decade to establish Digital Bangladesh by 2021, make the ICT a $5-billion industry by 2025 and transform Bangladesh's economy from labour based to knowledge based by 2041.
These major developments include launching of 600 e-services for citizens, expansion of countrywide fibre optic connectivity and internet access, staggering increase in internet users to 100 million with over 1 million IT professionals, designing of an e-Government application, establishing a startup company and committing over $40 million fund to support Startup initiatives.
"This year, we’ve declared a Bangabandhu Innovation Grant to commemorate the 100th birth anniversary of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, to fund 100 startups, both local and global," Palak said.
He also invited UK entrepreneurs to participate in the Digital World in December 2020 and the World Congress in IT in 2021 to see the success of Digital Bangladesh.
Tasneem said Bangladesh mission in London has taken initiatives to increase export of IT and IT-enabled services (ITs) to the United Kingdom which is now only 16 percent.
"We want to double our market share in the UK, which will transform Bangladesh-UK bilateral relations to a knowledge-based partnership," the High Commissioner said.
She encouraged Bangladeshi-British young entrepreneurs to submit innovation startup proposals for the Bangabandhu Startup Innovation Grant.
Managing Director of Bangladesh Hitech Park Authority Hosne Ara Begum and Chairman of Asian Tiger Capital Ifty Islam also spoke in the seminar, among others.
Two documentaries on development and opportunities of Bangladesh's ICT sector were also screened.
Policy Advisor of Leveraging ICT for the Employment and Growth of the IT-ITES Industry Sami Ahmed moderated the seminar.