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APICTA Award—dubbed as the ‘Oscar of ICT’ was held at the Bangabandhu International Conference Center (BICC) in December 10. The four-day long event started in December 7 at the Radisson Hotel and it ended with a stupendous gala event on Sunday night at the BICC.

Organized jointly by the Department of ICT under ICT Division and Bangladesh Assoictaion of Software and Information Services (BASIS), this mega event had been arranged for the first time in Bangladsesh. Experts concerned and observers said this was the largest international ICT award program ever took place on Bangladesh’s soil.

High level delegates from Australia, Brunei Darussalam, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Macao, Malaysia, Pakistan, Singapore, Srilanka, Thailand and Vietnam are also members of APICTA came to attend the four day-long event.

A total of 400 guests from 16 countries are attending the event.

Every Year Asia-Pacific ICT Alliance-APICTA is developing the ICT sector of Asia Pacific region. Besides, it recognizes potential and successful entrepreneurs, software and information technology services as well as the development of information technology sector. For the first time, Bangladesh organised this event.

Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhit graced the occasion as the chief guest. Zunaid Ahmed Palak, the State Minister for the ICT Division was present at the occasion as the special guest.

Subir Kishor Chowdhury, Secretary of the ICT Division, Bonomali Bhoumik, Director General of ICT Division, Mustafa Jabbar, President of BASIS and Russel T Ahmed, Senior Vice President of BASIS and the Convener of BASIS were present at the occasion among others.

During the gala event, APICTA awards were handed over to the winners under 17 categories.

Speaking on the occasion, Finance Minister Muhit lauded the initiative of bringing the APICTA award in Bangladesh within just two years of Bangladesh being a member of APICTA.

Bangladesh became a member of APICTA in 2015. Its 17 member economies include Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, China, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong SAR, Indonesia, Japan, Nepal, Macao SAR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.

Muhit Said, Bangladesh will emerge as ICT tiger in the next ten years as the country has already made a tremendous headway in ICT because of the government’s realistic policies and plans.

“The pledge to building a Digital Bangladesh was included in the election manifesto by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina nine years ago and now we can say Bangladesh has entered ICT age and in the next ten years county will emerge as ICT tiger.”

While highlighting the benefits of the introduction of online payment systems, the finance minister said it has helped reduce 75 percent cost. The ICT is also playing important role in health sector, he added.

Zunaid Ahmed Palak said immediately after coming to power the present government took realistic steps to build digital Bangladesh. As a result, the number of internet users increased to eight crore from 10 lakh eight years ago.

The government, he said, has a plan to expand internet connection up to all unions by 2018 and develop 20 lakhs skilled manpower in the ICT sector by 2021. The government has also a plan to develop 10,000 products in the ICT sector by 2021, he added.

Palak urged the entrepreneurs to invest in the ICT sector.

Speaking on the occasion, Mustafa Jabbar said after a prolonged campaign, they have been able to bring APICTA award in Dhaka.

“Hosting such award ceremony has definitely given a thrust to Bangladesh’s ICT sector,” said Jabbar adding that the guests of the APICTA award also attended different sessions of Digital World which went on simultaneously.

Asia Pacific ICT Alliance (APICTA) is working for the ICT sector development in Asia Pacific region. ■



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