Information & Communication Technology (ICT) Division and Bangladesh Association of Software & Information Services (BASIS) are jointly organizing the four-day mega event at the BICC to showcase technology-based innovations and achievements aiming to unlock economic potential of IT sector.
It is supported by Access to Information (a2i) & Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC). The theme of the event is “Future is Here”. Prime Minister’s ICT Advisor Sajeeb Wazed Joy was present at the function as the special guest, while State Minister for ICT Division Zunaid Ahmed Palak was in the chair.
BASIS President Shameem Ahsan delivered the welcome address and ICT Secretary Shayam Sundar Sikder also spoke on the occasion.
A video message of Silicon Valley Congressman of the United Sates Mike Honda was aired at the function.
Sheikh Hasina said there are some people in the country who don’t see the country’s development. “They are blind despite having eyes,” she said.
The Prime Minister called upon the countrymen to remain alert and put resistance against those who want to push the country towards darkness from development.
Reaffirming the present government’s commitment to build Digital Bangladesh by 2021, Sheikh Hasina said the goal of the government is to ensure proper utilization of information technology for socioeconomic development and socioeconomic development.
“Our goal is to make available the use of technology for improving the living standard of the people and build a “technology divide”-free country irrespective of the rich and the poor, the literate and illiterate,” she said.
To achieve the goal, she said, her government has been working relentlessly to ensure optimum utilization of mediums like mobile phones, radio, television and internet side by side with computer.
The Prime Minister said her government has taken various steps for development of IT industry and meet the demand of skilled manpower in the sector.
In this connection, she mentioned that 34,000 people are being groomed befitting with the IT industry through a project funded by the World Bank.
Lauding the role of the private sector in building Digital Bangladesh, the Prime Minister said the BASIS is creating 23,000 suitable manpower for the industry. Besides it is working on creating 10 lakh new internet users by 2018, she added.
Sheikh Hasina said the reputation of Bangladesh’s IT sector is on the rise both at home and abroad. Bangladesh’s software and IT services are being exported to about 50 countries of the world.
“The export earnings from the sector are boosting gradually and its average growth rate is 50 percent,” she said.
The Prime Minister said the government has framed the ICT Act and the ICT policy for further development of IT industry. “The work on setting up high-tech and software technology parks has started and infrastructures are being built in different districts to this end,” she said.
The Prime Minister also mentioned different measures for development of IT industry.
The measures include expansion of e-governance, raising bandwidth capacity of submarine cable, making available internet service by reducing the bandwidth price, launching 3G mobile service, setting up digital centres in 4,547 unions, 321 pourasabhas and 401 wards, arrangement of digital innovation fair and launching of e-service by all district administrations and introduction of the biggest web portal of the world with 25,000 websites.
Noting that Bangladesh’s IT sector is a potential one, Sheikh Hasina said the government is giving attractive incentives to the entrepreneurs side by side with infrastructure facilities to attract foreign investment.
“We are inviting the reputed companies of the world to invest in the IT sector and we are ensuring them to extend allout support,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh’s stride for IT-based development has been able to earn respect from people across the world. In this connection, she referred to the UN South-South Cooperation Visionary Award, WSIS Award from International Telecom Union and Global ICT Excellence Award from the WITSA.
The Prime Minister called upon all irrespective of party and opinion to build a welfare-oriented and peaceful Digital Bangladesh prosperous with knowledge, science and information technology.
Speaking as the special guest, Sajeeb Wazed Joy said the Awami League-led government introduced 3G technology and will roll out 4G technology soon.
Joy also said under the Leveraging ICT and Earning and Learning Project, 18,000 people have already been given training. “We have a plan to provide training for 50,000 more people under the project,” he said.
The ICT advisor said fibre optic would be reached to all Union Parishads to bring all the people of the country under internet coverage. “None can imagine where Bangladesh would march in terms of development in the IT sector,” he said, adding the IT sector would exceed the RMG sector in terms of foreign currency earnings by 2021.
Later, Sheikh Hasina visited different stalls set up at the BICC on the occasion of the Digital World 2015.