The software and information technology enabled services (ITES) industry is one of the most promising sectors of Bangladesh, with several growth drivers, like a large pool of efficient young professionals, collaborative environment with the government, dynamic leadership from Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Service (BASIS) and positive media involvement. Some twenty years ago, this industry predominantly existed as a hardware vendor market with little or no value addition on the local front. A series of programmes was initiated in 1997 with specific focus on export of software and IT services. Over the last decade, Bangladesh has pushed the idea of an Information and Communications Technology (ICT) driven society. IT sector was declared a key priority by the previous government (2007-2013) since it fits the ongoing campaign to create a “Digital Bangladesh” by 2021. Today, this industry is estimated to be worth around $700 million, where approximately 70,000 professionals, mostly IT graduates, are employed. As per BASIS, there are over 800 registered software and ITES companies, along with a few hundred unregistered small and home-based software and IT ventures doing business for both local and international markets.
Considerable achievements in the IT sector have already been made over several years towards building a 'Digital Bangladesh' and more initiatives are coming. However, to fully capitalize on the opportunities offered by the worldwide IT expansion, Bangladesh should thrust heavily towards further developing the IT sector to draw the attention of foreign investors competing with other technologically advanced/well-invested Asian countries. At the same time, we should encourage our entrepreneurs to launch IT companies here. Both these efforts would create hundreds of thousands of IT jobs and, consequently, help Bangladesh become a middle-income country by 2021. Bangladesh can draw on experiences of merging Asian countries like India, China, Malaysia, etc. to design and implement a rapid IT promotion strategy tailored to her own resources/objectives.
The Bangladesh government has been playing a key role in framing policies to foster infrastructure developments in ICT. With Digital Bangladesh in mind, people are also in the correct mental space to move forward with government agendas of economic growth through developing the IT sector. However, it is important that ICT initiatives and implementation under both existing and new schemes be closely linked to the overall economic development and poverty reduction strategy to turn Bangladesh into a middle-income country by 2021.
Activities of BASIS E-commerce alliance:
INCREASE AWARENESS: BASIS e-Commerce Alliance works with the local media and other offline and online channels to promote the local e-Commerce industry. The association aims to increase the size of the pie for all local e-Commerce stakeholders.
INSTILL CONFIDENCE: The Alliance will develop and maintain an accepted business standard in e-commerce sector so that the industry can develop and grow constantly. It will help businesses and consumers increase trust and confidence in e-commerce. The association intends to reduce fraudulent activities in e-commerce transactions drastically as well as to promote good business practices.
IMPROVE SKILLS: BASIS e-Commerce Alliance provides its members with access to networking opportunities, roundtables, conferences, workshops, industry intelligence (survey and measurement reports) and links to useful third party resources. Develop and promote thought leadership and best practices for trusted e-commerce environment.
PROMOTE ADVOCACY: BASIS e-Commerce Alliance speaks as a united voice representing the interests of its members. it represents the e-Commerce industry in all relevant opportunities to dialogue with government and other parties.
LEGAL SUPPORT: BASIS e-Commerce Alliance helps eShops stay legally compliant, with respect to the ICT Act and the Consumer Act. The Alliance will publish regular updates to policy changes and legal obligations with specific focus on the consumer’s privacy and security.
DIALOGUES WITH INTERNATIONAL STAKEHOLDERS: BASIS e-Commerce Alliance will provide a convenient and accessible point of contact for international players wishing to gain a clear understanding of the Bangladesh e-Commerce environment.
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