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Tuesday, March 20, 2018 07:58:32 PM
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Better policy support for ICT sector

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NEWS reports said that Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services urged the government to allow a 20 percent cash incentive on exports of ICT goods. The sector is already contributing largely to the development of economy, education and employment along with benefits in areas of investment, banking, security, sociability, marketing, tourism and a number of other areas.

Bangladesh may earn more foreign currencies if government gives incentive on exports of ICT products. As the industry is capable of earning $1 billion from exports currently, it would be wise for the government to agree to the plea of the association by allowing export incentives.

In recent years, the most dominating foreign currency earning sector - the apparel industry is facing setbacks to carry on business  abroad because it often fails to meet the requirements of foreign buyers. Besides, labour resentment, political turmoil and an  overall negative atmosphere are leading to the slowdown of RMG sector. So, government should think of promoting and patronising other export areas like the ICT sector. It will be sensible for the government to persue a export-friendly policy to accelerate the ICT sector by allowing a 20 percent cash incentive on its exports as demanded by its trade body.  

ICT experts said that if the industry gets only 20 percent cash incentive for five years, it will perform even better than the garment sector and create thousands of new jobs. ICT is a 100 percent value addition sector; but the garment sector is not. Taking this matter into account, government should open up multiple areas of exports and not be dependent solely on garment sector. Bangladesh's ICT sector is a glimmering example of what can be achieved if government's goodwill and a skilled workforce work together. It may add more value to the economy of the country if the ICT products could be exported providing proper government policy-support.

Rapid development in the ICT sector also reflects a rapid growth of skilled manpower which ultimately accelerates the economic growth and it would expand the growth more through export promotion. The government should actively consider the demand of the Association of Software and Information Services to provide better incentives.

In our view, the government should be really proactive in building up a good infrastructure and policy support to the ICT sector because the industry is a knowledge-power based one and its development will qualititably add dividend to the national economy at the end.

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