IIDFC signs deal with Indian company over ICT village

Industrial and Infrastructure Development Finance Company (IIDFC) Ltd yesterday signed a deal with India’s National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC) Ltd to get technical support to help set up the first private sector ICT village in Bangladesh.
Also, IIDFC, a non-bank financial institution, plans to provide financial support to ICT entrepreneurs in the private sector to invest in the ICT village.
HP Kumar, chairman of NSIC, owned by the Indian government, and M Matiul Islam, chairman of IIDFC, signed a memorandum of understanding in Dhaka.
“As part of efforts to facilitate the ICT park, a team including IIDFC officials will visit India next month to gather first-hand experience from an ICT park there. Then we will begin work to establish it,” said Md Asaduzzaman Khan, managing director of IIDFC.
The plan will require Tk 20-30 crore, excluding the cost of land, to set up the ICT park. “But it won’t be a difficult job for us,” Khan said.
He believed that entrepreneurs would get land allocation from the government in this regard.
“Although the initial focus is on a cluster village for ICT, more areas will be covered under the agreement — in phases,” he added.
Under the MoU, NSIC that has been facilitating small enterprises in India since 1955 will extend its cooperation, assistance, and expertise to IIDFC to help development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Bangladesh.
Cluster approach in developing SMEs will also be encouraged under the agreement, including establishing incubation centres. NSIC will focus on engineering, electronics and non-traditional sectors.
Mashiur Rahman, adviser to the prime minister on economic affairs, Atiur Rahman, Bangladesh Bank governor, Rajeet Mitter, Indian high commissioner to Bangladesh, also attended the ceremony.
Mashiur Rahman told the function that this was the first venture of cooperation between Bangladesh and India after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to India earlier this year.
The BB governor said Bangladesh seeks to first-track the SME sector and the government for the first time laid out an SME loan policy.
“Like India, we also believe in cluster development,” he said, adding that many clusters had developed in the country over the years without any government support. He urged banks to support linkage programmes.
Matiul Islam said Bangladesh should develop the cluster concept to boost the SME sector as practised in India.
“I do hope that our cooperation with NSIC will bring in immense benefit for the SME sector in Bangladesh.”

Courtesy of The Daily Star

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