Information technology sector will account for 1 percent of Bangladesh’s GDP in the next five years, prime minister’s ICT adviser Sajeeb Ahmed Wazed Joy expects.
He expressed the hope while presenting a paper on Tuesday at the ministerial conference of a four-day IT exposition, Digital World 2015, at Bangabandhu Conference Centre in Dhaka.
The exposition began on Monday.
The son of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina highlighted the Awami League-led government’s pledges and initiatives to fulfil them in his paper titled ‘Digital Bangladesh from Bottomless Basket’.
He said the Awami League-led government came forward with the ‘Digital Bangladesh’ project at a time when digitalisation was not introduced in any sector.
“Bangladesh once used to be called a bottomless basket. It’s no more a bottomless basket. Now (it) is Digital Bangladesh,” he added.
Joy said: “After five years, export earnings from the IT sector will reach $1 billion and the number of IT professionals will be one million.
“The number of internet users will increase by 10 million every year and IT sector’s contribution to GDP will be 1 percent.”
He said poverty rate in Bangladesh declined to 26 percent in 2014 from 40 percent in 2008.
During the period, literacy rate increased to 65 percent from 49 percent, electricity coverage to 62 percent from 27 percent, internet users to 27 percent of the population from 0.4 percent and the number of mobile-phone users to 120 million from 20 million, he added.
The prime minister’s adviser suggested extension of tax holiday for IT sector to 10 years from three years.
Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, however, did not touch upon the issue in his speech at the conference.
International Telecommunication Union Secretary General Houlin Zhao, Bhutan ICT Minister DN Dhungyel, Nepal Information Communication Minister Minendra Rijal, Maldives Minister Ahmed Adeem and State Minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak also spoke at the conference titled ‘Digital Economy: Opportunities and Challenges’.
Bangladesh Bank Governor Atiur Rahman moderated the session.
Source: Bd news24