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ICT will be biggest contributors to country’s expor: PM



IT Live: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today inaugurated “Sheikh Hasina Software Technology Park” in Jessore, expressing her firm optimism that the ICT sector would make the biggest contributions to the country’s export.

“I think that the goods to be produced from information and communication technology (ICT) sector will make the biggest contributions to the country’s export and in this way we want to impart training the youths of the country,” she said.

The premier opened the Software Technology Park through a videoconferencing from her official residence Ganabhaban in Dhaka this morning.

She also reiterated that the government would establish a hi-tech park in each district to flourish the ICT sector and generate employment. “Among the list of the produced goods, there will be ICT products which we can export,” she said.

State Minister for ICT Division Junaid Ahmed Palak delivered the welcome address while Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Post and Telecommunications Imran Ahmed was present on the occasion.

ICT Division Secretary Subir Kishore Chowdhury gave an overview of the park through a power point presentation, while PM’s Principal Secretary Dr Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury moderated the function at Ganabhaban.

Sheikh Hasina said after assuming office in 2009, her government turned the country into a Digital Bangladesh. “The people of the country witnessed what works we did in our journey towards Digital Bangladesh,” she said.

The prime minister said the government started digitisation in every field after announcing Digital Bangladesh vision in 2009 and Sheikh Hasina Software Technology Park is a part of the initiative.

“I believe that with the inauguration of the park, we’ve crossed another step towards building Bangladesh as a science and knowledge-based modern country,” she said.

The prime minister said work should be done by specifying every area and the government is working in this way. Terming the software park as a beautiful establishment, Sheikh Hasina said there is no doubt that it would attract everybody. “I extend my sincere thanks to all who’re involved in it,” she said.

She mentioned that the work on the Kaliakoir Hi-Tech Park is progressing fast. “We’ve completed many works of the project,” she said. Sheikh Hasina said for the development of the country, the goal of the government is to reach grassroots level. “We’ll go up to the grassroots level, not only to the capital,” she said.

She said her previous government during 1996-2001 digitalised analogue telephones. “We had given attention to get connected with submarine cable and how software could be developed,” she said.

Highlighting the background of her government’s journey towards Digital Bangladesh, the prime minister said many quarters used to ridicule the concept. “Presently none joke about it as everybody uses digital technology,” she noted.

Blasting the past BNP-Jamaat government for not taking any initiatives for the development of Kaliakoir Hi-Tech Park in Gazipur, the prime minister said her previous government took steps for establishing the park.

“We couldn’t complete the project as tenure was over in 2001. But after coming to power the BNP abandoned the project out of political vengeance,” she said.

In this connection, she said, “It’s my consolation that the BNP didn’t turn it into a ‘housing project’ and the owner of the “Hawa Bhaban” didn’t grab the area.”

She said Hawa Bhaban was a den of corruption at that time and it was a government within a government. “As we did many work of the hi-tech park by identifying it, the BNP men couldn’t grab it,” she said.

The prime minister accused the subsequent governments after brutal assassination of Bangabandhu in 1975 of launching the politics of killing, coups and conspiracy, saying that they did nothing for the development of the country and people.

“The country plunged into darkness and destruction as killers of Bangabandhu, Razakars and Al-Badrs were brought to power during the time to make Bangladesh a failed state,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina, however, said those who sacrifice themselves for creation can never destroy, rather they work for the development of the country.

The prime minister said after coming to power in 1996, her government put highest importance to technology-based education to build a science and technology based generation.

Recalling the contribution of her son Sajeeb Wazed Joy to this end, Sheikh Hasina said he was the pioneer of turning Bangladesh into a digital nation.

She regretted that BNP-led government deprived the country of having international connection through submarine cable by rejecting an offer in this regard just on baseless grounds of draining information.

Palak said the park was established in the form of the United State’s Silicon Valley. Around 5,000 people will get direct employment opportunity at the park, the state minister said.

The ICT Division sources said a 15-storied multi-tenant building with all necessary modern facilities, a 12-storied dormitory with 3-star standard accommodation and gymnasium facility, a canteen and amphitheater, a 33 KVA power station have been built at the park. In the main building of this park, allotments have been given against some 55 companies including two companies from Japan, said Jahangir Alam, the project director of the Software Technology Park uplift scheme.

Apart from this, he said, an entire floor has been allotted against the youths for free to launch “startup companies”.

Jahangir Alam, also a joint secretary of the government, said that the Software Technology Park has been set up in Jessore targeting 10 districts under Khulna Division where IT industry entrepreneurs from both home and abroad would get chance to make investments. This park will facilitate operations of software development, freelancing/outsourcing, call center, research and development, he said.

Following the announcement of the premier in 2010, the construction of the IT Park began on February 2013 at Bejpara in Shankarpur area of the Jessore town with an expenditure of Taka 305 crore.

As per the requirements of the Japanese entrepreneurs, the entire 11th floor of the dormitory building has been transformed into a world-class gym.


Dhaka,10 December, ( //IH


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