Coping with the rapidly advancing technologies remains a big challenge for Bangladesh and the country needs policies to best utilise the opportunities in this area, said Salman F Rahman, private industry and investment adviser to the prime minister.
He was speaking at the inauguration session of a two-day "JCI Smart Bangladesh Summit, Expo and CYE Award 2023" in the capital on Friday.
He also backed the ICT sector's demand for not imposing taxes and value-added tax (VAT) on local software and technology products.
The government has proposed a 5% VAT on local software alongside several measures that the technology industry opposed strongly citing their negative impacts on the journey towards a smart Bangladesh by 2041.
"What has been proposed in the budget was a misunderstanding and I hope it will not be there ultimately," he said.
Anir Chowdhury, policy advisor to the A2i project of the government in his keynote presented the country's journey towards a smart nation from a digital one.
He said there was no digital service by the government when the Digital Bangladesh vision was conceived in 2008. "Now over 2,000 services to the citizens are being delivered digitally."
Imran Kadir, deputy national president of Junior Chamber International (JCI), said around 22 lakh youth are getting ready for the job market every year and technology can help create the needed jobs in alignment with the Smart Bangladesh vision.
State Minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak, FBCCI President Jashim Uddin, Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services President Russel T Ahmed, E-commerce Association of Bangladesh President Shomi Kaiser, JCI National President Ziaul Haque Bhuiyan spoke on the occasion.
They expressed their optimism on Smart Bangladesh vision, saying it is realistic as the government is backing it with the country's available talents.
The summit converged young business leaders and ICT talents from across the country in the International Convention City Bashundhara, Dhaka.