Wednesday, June 26, 2024

ICT market needs financial help to grow

Says BASIS official on eve of software expo
The ICT market size is expected to be $500 million from existing $300 million if young information technology professionals get banking support for their working orders, experts said.
“Our young IT professionals have vast technical know-how but they have no access to finance that is a major snag to the sector’s further growth,” said MA Mubin Khan, director of Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS).
Khan said Bangladesh has now over 15,000 IT professionals in its software and IT-enabled services (ITES). As per the successful track-records, 150 IT companies have been engaged in export market for software outsourcing.
On the eve of the five-day software and information technology display that begins today, the BASIS director, also in-charge of BASIS’ national events committee, hoped the association would be able to project Bangladesh’s software and services as exportable to visitors from home and abroad.
The IT professionals have left a mark on the world market by exporting software and IT services to 30 countries, including the US, UK, Japan, Canada, Denmark, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Malaysia, South Korea and Germany, he added.
Listing the government’s bold steps including tax exemption by 2011 and setting up ICT parks in six divisions, Khan said initially two makeshift IT parks will be built on rented buildings to meet buyers’ demand.
Bangladesh is considered one of the major outsourcing destinations in the region as the country’s IT programmers’ charge relatively less than India, Philippines and Vietnam, he said citing an example that Bangladesh’s IT programmers’ cost is 50 percent less than that of India.
Bangladesh’s ICT industry has advanced a lot but it is unfortunate that no IT park was set up in the last 10 years while two IT parks were established in the Indian state of Kolkata alone.
“The country’s private banks had sanctioned huge loans to the different sectors except the IT sector,” he said adding that the banks had never provided Tk 100 crore to the sector as test case.
To propel the sector’s growth, Khan put forward a set of recommendations including giving working capital for promising young IT professionals, spending at least 5 percent of GDP to the sector and setting up IT desks in foreign missions abroad.
M Rafiqul Islam, an outsourcer, said India’s turnover of the IT industry now stood at $34 billion. The amount is much lower in Bangladesh although its software and IT-enabled products are as good as India, he said.
The reason is, Indian IT professionals get adequate financial support and necessary infrastructure facilities, said Islam, also the managing director of Global Web Outsourcing.

Courtesy of BSS via The Daily Star

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