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Bangladesh is rapidly becoming a central regional tech hub, with a growing number of startups and a focus on digital innovation. With over 6,500 startups and over 300,000 new jobs created, the IT sector has contributed 1.3% to Bangladesh's GDP. It has already become South Asia's second-largest source of IT freelancers and is considered the region's second most promising technological hub.

According to the President of Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services, Russel T. Ahmned, the country's IT-Information Technology Enabled Service (ITES) sector could grow to $30 billion by 2031. To accelerate this growth, the government has approved building nine new high-tech parks; six more are currently under construction.

While Bangladesh has some catching up regarding blockchain and crypto, the government has identified infrastructure document verification, land expertise finance, food agriculture, health supply chain, and smart city judiciary as critical areas where industry, businesses, and government can implement blockchain.

The government has plans to provide different governmental services under these ministries using blockchain technology. And in July 2022, the Minister of Finance Mustafa Kamal announced the start of research and exploration of Central Bank Digital Currencies. However, Bangladesh has banned cryptocurrencies, despite which 2.4% or 4 million people own cryptocurrency.

A Smart Vision 2041

Bangladesh has also laid out its Smart Vision 2041, a plan to transform the country into a knowledge-based economy. The ambitious project includes goals such as 0% poverty, 100% high-speed internet accessibility, and a 100% inclusive, circular, and cashless economy. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has emphasized that education and learning, such as e-education, e-health, e-businesses, e-economy, and e-governance, will be technical knowledge-based.

One of the key drivers of Bangladesh's tech revolution is its young and educated population, with 64% under 30. The country's low cost of living and business makes it an attractive destination for tech startups and investors, with affordable real estate and office space.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has laid out her country's Smart Vision 2041, a plan to accelerate Bangladesh's progress and transform it into a knowledge-based economy. Her ambitious project includes 0% poverty, 100% high-speed internet accessibility, and a 100% inclusive, circular, and cashless economy, among other milestones.

"Our education and learning such as e-education, e-health, e-businesses, e-economy, e-governance will be technical knowledge-based," the prime minister said when announcing her 2041 vision for a fully developed Bangladesh.

Sheikh Hasina explained children will be the driving force toward 2041. "We will develop our children to cope with the coming days that will be technology driven and prepare them to be the skilled manpower for the upcoming fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR)."

Furthermore, the government is creating an enabling environment for tech startups by offering various incentives, such as tax exemptions and access to funding. Bangladesh has also been improving its ease of doing business ranking, making it easier for startups to register and operate.

Challenges that need addressing

Despite these positive developments, Bangladesh still faces challenges that could hinder its progress as a tech hub. Weak intellectual property laws, enforcement mechanisms, and a digital divide in rural areas are among the most significant obstacles.

Nevertheless, Bangladesh can become a significant global tech industry player. With its large and young population, low living costs, supportive government policies, and thriving digital ecosystem, the country is well-positioned to become a significant tech hub in the coming years. If it can address its challenges and continue its current trajectory, the future looks bright for Bangladesh's tech sector.


Autor(en)/Author(s): Ray Sanchez

Quelle/Source: iTech Post, 10.05.2023

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