The government has launched its first ever Virtual IT Desk and B2B Connectivity Portal- `Bangladesh IT Connect-UK', at the Bangladesh High Commission in London.
The portal was launched aiming to attract more Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and create greater business connectivity between entrepreneurs and vendors from IT Industry in Bangladesh and the United Kingdom.
Developed by the LICT Project of Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC) under the ICT Division in collaboration with the London High Commission, the Virtual IT Desk and B2B Connectivity hub was inaugurated on Thursday by the State Minister for ICT, Zunaid Ahmed Palak with British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office Minister Tariq Ahmad.
The high-profile B2B event tilted "Bangladesh-UK@50 : Forging a Digital Economy Partnership", was organised by Bangladesh High Commission in London as part of High Commission's commemoration of 50 years of Bangladesh-UK diplomatic relations.
Speaking at the event, ICT Minister Zunaid Ahmed Palak, said "The virtual desk at the High Commission would help foster Bangladesh-UK trade and investments as well as knowledge partnerships in the technology and BPO sectors of both countries."
He also recommended signing of an MoU between Bangladesh and the UK in the ICT sector on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of historic relations between Bangladesh and the UK towards further strengthening of technological and business co-operation in ICT, digital businesses, skills, knowledge and innovation.
"Under the dynamic stewardship of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh has been developing ICT infrastructure including 39 Hi-Tech/ IT Parks for foreign and local investors in its journey towards Digital Bangladesh and we invite UK IT companies to run their BPOs and businesses in 5 of the top state-of-the art Hi-Tech/IT Parks", Palak said.
In his speech as the Chief Guest, British Minister for South Asia, Commonwealth and the UN, Ahmad pledged UK's unremitting support and collaboration in promoting a knowledge and technology-based digital economy partnership.
He said: "Tech collaboration between the governments and the people of Bangladesh and the UK will take bilateral relations of the two countries into the next digital age".
He suggested establishing a close alliance between UK Higher Education institutions and Bangladesh's IT industries for strengthening further the skill base of the IT sector of Bangladesh and enhancing IT businesses.
High Commissioner Saida Muna Tasneem in her welcome remarks, said "The virtual desk to be manned by a dedicated officer of the Mission will work as a 'one-stop IT portal', facilitating UK IT companies, businesses and investors to find suitable technology and BPO partners in Bangladesh while IT companies from Bangladesh would be able to showcase their outsourcing solutions and services, start up and innovation ventures to the UK IT firms. Already nearly 100 firms have registered in our portal".
President of Confederation of British Industry Lord Bilimoria said that stronger partnership in IT sector between UK and Bangladesh would help both the countries build economic prosperity in the post-Brexit and post-pandemic period.
International Director of British Computer Society Stephen Tweed and President of BASIS Syed Almas Kabir also spoke at the opening session.
The two B2B panels titled `Is Bangladesh UK's Next Outsourcing Partner?' and `Tech Start-ups Bangladesh-The Next Unicorn' were participated, among others.
More than 320 IT experts, business association leaders and IT entrepreneurs from Bangladesh, UK and India joined the event.