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Bangladesh: Facilitating Progress in IT Sector
Source: nation.ittefaq.com
Source Date: Saturday, April 10, 2010
Focus: ICT for MDGs, Internet Governance
Country: Bangladesh
Created: Apr 12, 2010

A PREVIOUS government did acquire 230 acres of lands at Kaliakair near Dhaka to set up an information technology (IT) park. It was to give this sector a big leap forward. The park was to be built with uninterrupted power supply and high speed Internet connectivity round the clock among other indispensables for such an establishment. Although about a decade has passed since the acquisition of land, actual activities to get the park going has progressed very little. The immediate past caretaker government allocated the pittance of taka 60 million for the development of the park. But that was spent in only erecting a boundary wall around the site.

Government itself could give a boost to this sector by taking hard initiatives now to spread e-governance. Government ministries and different organisations could be adequately brought under computer networks to work more efficiently. In the process, the use of locally made software and support services could increase giving a stimulus to about 400 companies in the private sector that have sprung up. The net of internal consumption of locally made IT products and services would go up on the whole encouraging local IT companies. From such a development taking place, foreign buyers of IT products would be attracted.

As it is, Bangladesh at present has only one connectivity to the international information superhighway through undersea cable. More alternative connections to the information super highway are needed. There is an effective demand for some 10 to 15 thousand skilled manpower annually in this sector. But the present output from the country's educational institutions is about five thousand only. The sector is also particularly in need of specialised education opportunities to create manpower. The banks are also found to be relatively reluctant in financing IT projects.
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