Export earnings from computer services and software rose by more than a quarter in the last fiscal year to $191 million.
Industry insiders attributed the 25.76% jump on the same period a year ago to government policy support and capacity enhancement within the industry.
According to the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data, the earnings figure for the fiscal year which ended on June 30 was 19.34% above the fiscal year target of $160 million.
Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS) president, Mustafa Jabbar, told the Dhaka Tribune that the capacity of Information Technology-Enabled Services (ITES) and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) service providers had increased.
“These acted as a catalyst for the sharp rise in export earnings from the software and computer-related services,”
Mustafa said that although a supportive government policy coupled with incentives and training initiatives had encouraged the industry to earn more, the EPB figure did not reflect the true export earnings from the sector.
“The banks’ data is not sufficient and their definition is not clear,” he said. “In our calculation, last year’s earning from the sector stood at around $700 million, but the export data shows only $151 million.”
The former BASIS president, Fahim Masroor, told the Dhaka Tribune that a 25% rise is not enough to meet the government target for the sector of $1 billion by 2019.
“In meeting the target, the government and the sector both have to concentrate on human development through proper training and practical knowledge,” said Fahim, who is also the owner of Ajkerdeal.com Ltd, an online marketplace.
“If we look into our services and products, they still remain at a basic level, and so concentration needs to be put on high-valued services,” he added.