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BIDA ties up with LICT Project to woo foreign investment

FE Report | January 17, 2019 00:00:00

The Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) will work together with the Leveraging ICT for Growth, Employment and Governance (LICT) Project under Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC) to attract more foreign investment in the ICT sector.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the two sides to this end on Wednesday.

As per the agreement, BIDA will provide fast-track service for foreign investors in the ICT sector and the LICT will take initiative to promote the country's brand and publicise the investment climate in Bangladesh with special focus on facilities offered by BIDA.

BIDA will provide all necessary services to a foreign investor, including visa support. It will help them clear airport formalities and provide all relevant documents and certification regarding investment.

BIDA secretary Md Mosharraf Hossain and BCC Executive Director Parthapratim Deb signed the MoU at a ceremony held at the BCC conference centre in the city.

Posts, Telecommuni-cations and Information Technology Minister Mustafa Jabbar, State Minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak, BIDA Executive Chairman Kazi M Aminul Islam, and ICT Secretary Zuena Aziz were present at the signing ceremony.

Speaking on the occasion, they said boosting the country brand and wooing more foreign investors are crucial to achieve Bangladesh's goal to earn US$ 7.0 billion from the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector by 2023.

Besides, promoting local tech companies and developing skills in next generation technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) are also needed to this end, they said.

Mustafa Jabbar said the ruling party in its election manifesto pledged to earn $7.0 billion from the ICT sector by 2023.

"In the last ten years, we have warmed up the engine. Now, we are set to take off," said the minister.

Besides software export, local hardware makers will have to make a significant contribution to this effort, he added.

"Some of our local companies are now exporting world-class IT hardware," he said, adding: "This is a testimony to our growing capabilities in the sector."

BIDA Executive Chairman Kazi M Aminul Islam said the government is prioritising the ICT as a thrust sector, considering its importance for the country's future.

"We even need to leverage the ICT sector for the development of every other sector. Thus Bangladesh can attain its goal to become a developed country," he said.

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