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The ICT Advisor to the Prime Minister Sajeeb Wazed expressed optimism and hope at the advancement of the BPO industry in the country during his speech at BPO Summit 2018 held last month, saying that the ICT sector is capable of employing more people than possible in government jobs.

Organized jointly by Bangladesh Association of Call Centre and Outsourcing (BACCO) and Department of Information & Communication Technology (DOICT) of the ICT Division, BPO Summit 2018 was held in Dhaka on April 15-16. With high level government officials present the annual summit, now in its third year, attracted huge interest, particularly among the young generation, who flocked the two-day conference.

Held at the Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel, the summit serves the purpose of connecting stakeholders and presenting the situation of the BPO sector in Bangladesh. Sajeeb Wazed, attending the opening ceremony as the chief guest said that the goal of this summit was to present the situation of the BPO sector and where Bangladesh stands in the global market.

Mustafa Jabbar, Minister, Ministry of Post, Telecommunication and Information Technology presided over the inauguration program, with the state minister for Information and Communication Technology Division Zunaid Ahmed Palak attending as the special guest. The president of Parliamentary Standing Committee for Ministry of Post, Telecommunication and Information Technology Imran Ahmed MP, Minister of Agriculture Matia Chowdhury, Secretary of Information and Communication Technology DivisionSubir Kishore Choudhury, Director General (Additional Secretary) of DOICT A K M Khairul Alam, president of BACCO Wahidur Rahman Sharif were present, among others.

Sajeeb Wazed emphasized that the sector is growing saying that there were only 300 workers in the BPO sector in 2009. “That grew to over 40 thousand at present. We hope that by 2021 there will be a hundred thousand people employed in this sector,” he said.

Wazed praised the private sector for working alongside the government. The triple nine emergency hotline is an example of success in this collaboration, he said. The ICT Advisor urged the stakeholders to prioritize local software, saying local softwares are being exported and there is no reason for not using them in the country. He assured that guideline will be created for this purpose if needed.

“We have recently witnessed movement for reforming the ‘quota system’. The government has taken initiative for the first time to reform. But what I would like to say to you is that we can only take in about three to four thousand people in the government jobs. This is such a tiny number. We can employ a lot more people in the ICT sector alone,” Sajeeb Wazed said.

Mustafa Jabbar said that Bangladesh’s economy is growing steadily as a result of Shiekh Hasina’s able leadership. He said that the young generation should know about the immense possibilities of the global BPO industry, and that is the goal of this event. “The market size for global BPO industry is $500 billion. Bangladesh has surpassed one hundred million already. If this huge market can be tapped it will accelerate the progress of Bangladesh,” he said.

Zunaid Ahmed Palak said that the youth of this country is a big asset and they are the key to success in the BPO sector. “Two-third of the population is youth, then that is 11 crore people. We need a lot of skilled man power. If these young people can be trained then we can take a big chunk of the global BPO market,” the state minister said.

Organizer and president of BACCO Wahidur Rahman Sharif expressed hope that BPO sector will contribute immensely in the government vision for economic progress. “The government set a goal of earning five billion dollars from the ICT sector. We hope that a lion’s share of that will come through BPO,” Sharif said. But for that, he said, Bangladesh will need to train its youth. “In the next five years Japan, Europe and America will need 20 lakh coders or programmers. They don’t have that manpower. In Japan, half of the population are over 50. Similar situation exist in Europe and America. If Bangladesh can train a huge number of youth, then they will control the market of Europe, America and Japan in five years,” he added.

This year’s BPO Summit hosted 60 local speakers and 20 foreign speakers who spoke in front of an eager young audience. 30 universities also participated in the summit and carried out activation. ■


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