China's large technology firms are looking for a long-term partnership with Bangladesh as they believe it will help improve their international footing.
Chief Executive Officer of Kingdom Engine International, a leading technology service company in China, Ling Leagan told The Business Standard that his firm is interested to form a joint venture with Bangladeshi finance and corporate advisory firm Asian Tiger Capital.
The planned entity will serve the local market while exploring international opportunities. The two groups are already working together on financial technology in the capital market, digital transformation in the banking and insurance industry, smart city, and digital healthcare of Bangladesh.
Ling in his five-day Bangladesh tour attended near a dozen professional seminars, focus group discussions and meetings with government and private sector officials.
At the AT Capital office, the tech CEO told journalists that Bangladesh has a big market potential as digitisation is a top priority of the government.
Each of the areas the two companies are working on will need a great effort in future.
Chinese firms like Kingdom is planning to make a long-term partnership here instead of working as a technology vendor.
China also experienced the same phase of development in the last two decades as Bangladesh is undergoing now. Now 70 percent of the world's smart cities are in China. The East Asian giant is also the most digitised economy in the world today.
About the similarities between Bangladesh and China, in technology potentials, Ling referred to the ICT brains that the both countries have.
The biggest similarity between the two countries is a "leapfrog in digitisation," Ling pointed out.
Like China, Bangladesh does not have many installed technologies and there is not much legacy issue in technology, he said, adding that adoption of the latest and smartest technology solutions will not cost too much and it will help the country secure the "leapfrog in digitisation".
The chance for collaboration
Chinese technology service firms, as the makers of the Chinese legend of digitisation, are the world's best when it comes to quality, innovation and cost competitiveness. These firms are now looking for internationalisation.
"But our engineers have some barrier while communicating internationally, which is not a problem for Bangladeshi engineers as I met with a number of them this week," said Ling.
Besides the technological side, Bangladesh can help our firms through collaborating in such areas, he said, while maintaining that for world-class Chinese software firms, Bangladesh can be a good gateway to international markets.
Founded in 1992, based in Shenzhen and listed in Shanghai Stock Exchange in 2003, Kingdom Engine International is a major Chinese supplier of financial software and technology services.
Kingdom focuses on financial technology and offering end to end solution and services to exchanges, securities, futures, funds, trust, insurance companies and banks.
Their software is used by, among others, Chinese Central Bank and Shenzhen Stock Exchange.
Kingdom also offers wealth management tools to individual investors. The company has five research and development centres, 8,000 plus employees, more than 60 percent of them being programmers and developers.
The shareholders and joint venture partners of Kingdom include Tencent, JD.Com, Pingan insurance and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
Asian Tiger Capital
The Asian Tiger Capital is an initiative of some seasoned Bangladeshi finance professionals with both local and international experience.
Ifty Islam is serving as the chairman of AT Capital after a long career in the investment arena in Europe and the US.