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Joy: Digital Bangladesh to focus on creating young entrepreneurs

  • Published at 11:15 pm April 21st, 2019
web-Prime Minister's ICT Adviser Sajeeb Wazed Joy  business process outsourcing (BPO)
Prime Minister's ICT Adviser Sajeeb Wazed Joy speaks at the inauguration ceremony of a 2-day business process outsourcing (BPO) summit at Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel in Dhaka on Sunday, April 21, 2019 BSS

He said progress in Bangladesh's IT sector has been appreciated worldwide

Prime Minister's ICT Adviser Sajeeb Wazed Joy has said Bangladesh will now be focusing on creating young entrepreneurs and new innovators. 

He was speaking at the inauguration of a 2-day business process outsourcing (BPO) summit that took place at Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel in Dhaka on Sunday.

With the theme "Transforming Service to Digital", Information Communication Technology (ICT) Division, in collaboration with Bangladesh Association of Call Centre and Outsourcing (BACCO), is hosting the summit with an aim to brand Bangladesh as an ideal place for investment and business management. 

While giving his speech, Joy said: "Bangladesh does not need to follow countries who have made remarkable progress in the BPO sector. The focus shall be on creating young entrepreneurs and new innovators, who will lead the 4th Industrial Revolution with their innovative ideas.”

He further said: “No country has any plans or policy to become digital. I suggest youths to innovate new technologies rather than imitating others.”

The ICT adviser said: “In 2009, Bangladesh's per capita income was $500. Now it is about $2,000, and growing.

Visitors checking stalls during BPO summit at Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel in Dhaka on April, 21, 2019 |Rajib Dhar/Dhaka Tribune“BPO will significantly contribute to our target earnings of the $1 billion mark in the next five years, which is current at $300 million a year. The sector has over 50,000 capable workers now, starting with only 300 about a decade ago.” 

Joy added: “Progress in Bangladesh's IT sector has been appreciated worldwide. 

“We have a plan to expand the BPO sector outside Dhaka city for which we have established hi-tech parks in 20 district outside of Dhaka.”

He furthed: "Our Digital Bangladesh will become a middle-income country within 2021. For this, we have concentrated on skilled labour, industrialization, and knowledge sector."

Joy added that the current government exempted all sorts of tax on the IT sector till 2024. 

Bangladesh thriving in the BPO industry, both locally and globally

BACCO sources said the domestic BPO industry in Bangladesh is thriving with 30% annual growth while both international and domestic markets currently generates over $300 million in revenue, and is expected to grow with employment of 250,000 workers by 2031.

Post, Telecommunication and ICT Minister Mustafa Jabbar said: "Young people in rural area can now earn from their home under BPO services. 

“Ten years ago, the export earnings from the ICT sector was $25 million, which has now crossed the $400 million mark, with $30 million coming from outsourcing.” 

He added: “Around 62% of the total population are under the age of 32. The government has a target  to create 500,000 new jobs by 2024.

Only a little workforce earn in millions  

ICT State Minister Zunaid Ahmed Palak said, “Today Philippines earns $10 billion with only 10 million workers, while India earns $100 billion. In Bangladesh, 50,000 workers earn $300 million, which is expected to cross $1 billion with 100,000 workers within next 5 years.”

The government targets to earn $3 billion from the ICT sector by 2021, of which one-third could be earned by the BPO sector, according to the BACCO.

The industry earnings were $4 million in 2008, rising to $12 million in 2012, $52 million in 2013, $82 million in 2014 and $130 million 2015, according to the BACCO.

BACCO  President Wahidur Rahman Sharif, Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) Chairman Jahurul Haque, Post and Telecommunications acting Secretary Ashoke Kumar Biswas, and  ICT Ministry Secretary NM Zeaul Alam also spoke on the occasion.

More than  40 local and 20 international speakers, specialists including corporate, institutional are participating in the 2-day summit scheduled on end on Monday.