January 23, 2022, 2:30 pm

Diplomatic correspondent

2022-01-10 09:35:38 BdST

Virtual desk at Bangladesh mission to attract FDI in ICT sector

A virtual desk at the Bangladesh Embassy in the Netherlands was launched to connect investors and partners, explore business and help attract foreign direct investment (FDI) in Bangladesh's ICT sector.

The virtual platform called 'Bangladesh IT Connect Portal-Netherlands' -- available at nl.itconnect.gov.bd -- is a joint venture of Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC) and Embassy of Bangladesh to the Netherlands, a statement said.

State Minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak inaugurated the platform as the chief guest at a launching ceremony held virtually on the day.

Marking the event, a discussion was organised styled as 'Netherlands-Bangladesh: Forging a digital economy partnership marking 50 years of Bangladesh and the Netherlands friendship'.

Bangladesh's Ambassador to the Netherlands M Riaz Hamidullah moderated the function which was addressed, among others, by Programme Manager of Royal Dutch Shell Kabir Siraj, Founder of Amsterdam based PlanetNine Maarteen Roelofs, and Head of Innovation Product Portfolio of Uber Amsterdam Kazi Zulqar.

IT-ITES expert Sami Ahmed made a slide show presentation on the portal at the function.

Addressing the function, the state minister for ICT said the government has been establishing Sheikh Hasina Institute of Frontier Technology (SHIFT), Center for Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), and Digital Leadership Academy.

The government has also been building an innovation ecosystem to cope up with the 4IR.

"We are also establishing 35,000 Sheikh Russel digital labs and 300 schools of the future which will also play a vital role to build the skilled human resources for 4IR," he added.

Mr Palak also said the Netherlands is Bangladesh's one of the leading partners in trade and investment in many sectors and the virtual desk launched on Saturday would foster partnership and collaboration in the areas of trade and investment of ICT sector.

Bangladesh has been developing ICT infrastructure including 39 hi-tech/ IT parks for the investors in its journey towards building a digital economy and many local and foreign companies are doing business in the already-built 10 IT parks and IT incubation centres.

The ICT state minister said the platform would help Bangladesh and the Netherlands to explore greater areas of cooperation and collaboration in the technology and BPO (business process outsourcing) sector and digital economies of both the countries, he observed.

More than 70 IT exporting companies from Bangladesh have already uploaded their profiles that are working in the Netherlands or consider the Netherlands as their potential market.

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