Time has come to re-brand Bangladesh to a country with skilled manpower from the cheapest labour country, said speakers at the second episode of a week-long webinar series organised by Grameenphone.
They said that in the last 40 years we have branded ourselves as the country of the cheapest
labour. But we need to change that. Only freelancers and youth skilled in new technology
can make the dream possible.
Technology experts, entrepreneurs and stakeholders participated in the discussion on
Tuesday that marked the occasion of the National Youth Day.
Syed Almas Kabir, president at Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services
(BASIS) said that the garments industry has branded Bangladesh as a country of cheaper
"But this is the high time to change our branding from cheaper labour to skilled manpower's
country. For that, we have to be skilled in technology and soft skilled work like freelancing
and outsourcing," he said.
The new freelancers choose an expertise area that will match the requirement of the
forthcoming 4th industrial revolution, suggested BASIS president.
"Existing freelancing works including photo correction and clicking path work won't come to
us in the future as artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic process intelligence (RPI) replace
these jobs. So, we need up-skilling and re-skilling," said Almas Kabir.
Md Zahidul Haque, executive project director at Skills for Employment Investment Program
(SEIP), said Bangladesh can get the benefit of the demographic dividend by taking the right
kind of policy and strategy.
"As a part of this, SEIP has taken a project to provide mid and high-level training to around 8
lakh people from different sectors based on the research," he added.
Talking about the assistance for the new freelancers, Wahidur Rahman Sharif of Bangladesh
Association of Call Centre and Outsourcing (Bacco) said that the scope of the work for the
online professional has to be spread at the root level and they have to connect with the
"Besides this, some special training and programmes should be taken for the new online
professionals to develop their skill sets," he opined.
Asserting her journey towards freelancing back in 2013, Tasfia Azim, co-founder of the
Speak Easy Society said that there were many challenges including poor access to the
internet and lack of institutional support.
"Apart from this, the language barrier is a unique problem for all freelancers for expressing
their work to the clients. Due to this problem, many skilled freelancers fail to present their
work to the employers," she said.