According to experts, by 2021, Bangladesh has the potential to earn as much as $5 billion through its ICT sector.
This is indeed great news.
With a burgeoning ICT sector, it is important that the government takes advantage of this untapped market and doesn’t let this opportunity go to waste.
The country has already fallen behind by not jumping on the submarine cable network wagon earlier. This is compounded by the fact that a lack of incentive and policy regarding the ICT sector has persisted until recently.
We cannot let that happen again.
Recent events, such as Digital World 2016, have showcased how much Bangladesh can gain through developing ICT and ICT-related industries. As one of its more rapidly emerging sectors, it is important that there are systems set in place to allow for the sector to flourish.
As a result, the commerce minister’s promise that the sector would be getting cash incentives, is encouraging.
This is especially important since, right now, Bangladesh is not at a level where it can compete on a global scale. This can be done by allowing local ICT firms to develop software, instead of purchasing them from abroad.
In some countries, government agencies have adopted open-source software, particularly in offices and on servers which need to maintain strong data security. In light of the recent fraud at Bangladesh Bank, it is obvious that many arms of the government need better data security.
This is the right time for a policy to promote the use of open source software in government agencies. Using open source software will also save the government millions of dollars every year in software license fees.
Another focus should be developing skilled manpower at home. It is imperative for the ICT sectors’ continuing advancement.
Under Sheikh Hasina’s leadership, the government has already come a long way in developing the dreams of a Digital Bangladesh. This is another important step towards fully realising that dream.