State Minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak invited entrepreneurs of the United Kingdom to take advantage of Bangladesh's thriving IT sector.
"Over the past decade, Bangladesh transformed from a least developed country to a middle-income state through leveraging power of ICT, and this shift has been possible because of strong leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her ICT Affairs Adviser Sajeeb Wazed Joy," he said at a high- profile investment seminar at British Parliament in London on Monday.
Bangladesh High Commission, London organised the seminar to showcase the tremendous opportunities that the Bangladesh IT sector offers to the foreign investors, said release received here today.
Bangladesh High Commissioner for the United Kingdom and Ireland gave the welcome speech at the seminar titled "Investing in Digital Bangladesh: Fintech to Hitech".
UK Minister for the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Matt Warman, Lord Ranbir Singh Suri, Lord David Howell, Lord Jitesh Gadiha, Valerie Vaz, MP, Stephen Metcalfe, MP, Stephen Timms, MP, attended the seminar.
Academics and eminent personalities from Bangladeshi-British Diaspora along with around 150 British and Bangladeshi-British entrepreneurs participated in it while many of them also took part in lively discussions.
They also expressed their keen interest in investing in Bangladesh IT sector.
Palak gave a brief on the significant progress that the government brought in the ICT sector in the past one decade aiming to establish Digital Bangladesh by 2021, make the ICT a $5-billion industry by 2025 and transform Bangladesh's economy from labour base to knowledge base by 2041.
"This year, we have declared a Bangabandhu Innovation Grant to commemorate 100th birth anniversary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, to fund 100 startups, both local and global," he said.
The state minister also invited the UK entrepreneurs to participate in the Digital World in December 2020 and the World Congress in IT in 2021 to see the success of Digital Bangladesh.
High Commissioner Saida Muna Tasneem said Bangladesh mission in London has taken initiatives to increase export of IT and IT-enabled services (ITs) to the United Kingdom which is now only 16 per cent.
"We want to double our market share in the UK, which will transform Bangladesh-UK bilateral relations to a knowledge-based partnership," she added.
Saida encouraged Bangladeshi-British young entrepreneurs to submit innovation startup proposals for the Bangabandhu Startup Innovation Grant.
Managing Director of Bangladesh Hitech Park Authority Hosne Ara Begum and Chairman of Asian Tiger Capital Ifty Islam also spoke in the seminar, among others.
Two documentaries on development and opportunities of Bangladesh's ICT sector were also screened. Policy Advisor of Leveraging ICT for the Employment and Growth of the IT-ITES Industry Sami Ahmed moderated the seminar.