Bangladesh aims to boost tech exports to $1 bln by 2019


By Serajul Quadir | DHAKA
Feb 1 Bangladesh aims to quadruple its earnings from information, communication and technology (ICT) exports to $1 billion by 2019, Zunaid Ahmed Palak, the country's junior minister for ICT, said on Sunday.

"Our export earnings from this sector was only $20 million in 2009 which is now more than $250 million," Zunaid said in a training programme related to the sector.

The ministry with help from the World Bank will train 30,000 information technology professionals over the next three years to help achieve this target.

The minister said that Bangladesh would be able to raise its export earnings from the sector to $5.0 billion in 2021 when the country will have become a middle-income country, and in 2041 the figure could rise to $50 billion.

A.K. Azad Chowdhury, chairman of the University Grants Commission of Bangladesh, noted that to help achieve this target the government had waived taxes on the computer industry.

"We want to develop our economy on the basis of technology instead of labour-intensive industry," he said.

The training will involve professional services company Ernst and Young (EY) partnered with U.S.-based Info Pro Learning. The World Bank is providing $70 million of assistance.

The World Bank said that direct employment of 30,000 graduates would lead to indirect employment of about 120,000 people, with annual salaries estimated at $3,000 and $1500, respectively. (Editing by Jason Neely)
This article was first seen on Reuters
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