State Minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak on Saturday laid emphasis on enhancing export of software and IT products to reach the target of US$5 billion by 2021.
"The ICT export may cross $1b by 2018 if the present trend of export of software and IT products by the IT companies together with freelance software developers and call center companies continue," he said while addressing a roundtable 'Mission $1b by 2018' at Janata Tower in Dhaka.
Jointly organized by Bangladesh Computer Council, Bangladesh Hi-tech Park Authority and Leveraging ICT for Growth, Employment and Governance (LICT) Project, the roundtable addressed, among others, by LICT Project Director Md. Rezaul Karim, Project Management Specialist Sarker Abul Kalam Azad, President of Bangladesh Association of Software and Services (BASIS) Mostafa Jabbar and Vice-President of BASIS Farhana Rahman, President of Bangladesh Association of Call Center and Outsourcing (BACCO) Ahmedul Huq and representatives of National Board of Revenue (NBR) and Bangladesh Bank (BB).
LICT Component Team Leader Sami Ahmed presented the keynote at the function.
Palak said the export of ICT was only $26 million when the government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina came to power in January 2009.
"Currently, as calculated by BASIS the volume of ICT export is about $600 million and together with IT companies, freelance software developers and call center companies it is about $700 million," he said.
He said the government has undertaken massive ICT infrastructure development programmes across the country to boost the ICT sector.
The 12 Hi-tech parks including Bangabandhu Hi-tech Park at Kaliakoir on 332 acres of land and Sheikh Hasina Software Technology Park at Jessore are now under construction, he said.
The ICT state minister said once implemented the Bangabandhu Hi-tech Park alone will create an opportunity to employ 100,000 people at the park. "Our target is to increase the number of IT professionals up to 2 million by 2021 and we are working on that," Palak said.bss