Ajit Kumar Sarkar
Country’s IT and IT Enable Services (IT-ITES) sector that covers software, BPO and e-Commerce saw a robust growth as the export earnings from the sector has increased to $802 million in 2018, said a recent government research. The overall expected export value of IT-ITES industry was $319 million in 2013 against the $802 million in 2018 showing an increase of $483 million i.e., 150 percent in the overall expected export value of the IT-ITES industry in six years, said the research officially released in December last.
Center for Project Management and Information System (PMIS) of Dhaka University with the help of World Bank financed the Leveraging ICT for Growth, Employment and Governance (LICT) Project of BCC under ICT Division has conducted the research titled `IT-ITES Industry Statistics of Bangladesh 2019’ to present exact data and statistics before the policymakers of the government.
The research document has been handed over to ICT Affairs Adviser to the Prime Minister Sajeeb Wazed Joy on 15 January 2020 at a function of ICT Division. A top official of the ICT Division said this is the first ever government research in IT-ITES sector that has covered three areas– Software, Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and e-Commerce to find out current status, export revenue and employment.
“The IT-ITES sector alone witnessed a remarkable growth which is more than double in 2018, but if the hardware and freelancing outsourcing sectors are added the ICT sector’s export revenue would be over $1 billion during the same,” said State Minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak.
He said the government’s various steps including incentives and reduction of tax have been contributing to flourish the local markets. Some local hardware companies are exporting digital devices including laptop in different countries of the world, Palak added. The research revealed that IT-ITES industry of Bangladesh generates an estimated local market revenue of Taka 19,273 million and exports revenue of $802 million in 2018. The sector has also witnessed growth in employment also, it said.
ICT Secretary N M Zeaul Alam said the research estimated 126,000 employees working in the IT-ITES sector, but if we included the hardware industry labourers, freelancers and IT professionals the number would increase to over 1.3 million. There are about 6 lakhs active freelancers who have contributed to secure second position in the world’s online labour force, he added.
The research focused the overall status of employment of the IT-ITES industry of Bangladesh for the year of 2018. According to research, a total of 1,26,591 employees are working in the IT-ITES industry in 2018. Of them, companies under BASIS employed 71,949, BACCO 46702 and e-Cab 7940. The companies invested Taka 34.9 billion for training and development and they are expected to invest Taka 161 million in 2021 for the same, it said.