A four-day Digital World expo kicked off in the capital yesterday with the slogan of 'Ready for Tomorrow'. The motto of the expo is to turn in reality of Bangladesh's dream with the ICT sector. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the expo at Bangabandhu Interna-tional Conference Centre (BICC).
Sheikh Hasina said: "We have wielded the youths with latest IT technology. So the whole world in their fist now and I hope that they will take the country forward." "And only then the dream of Bangabandhu will come true," she said.
Highlighting various steps taken by her government to build a Digital Bangladesh, the premier said the country has world's largest web portal containing 25,000 websites of the government organizations.
The portal has made information services available for the people. "Today's Bangla-desh is a Digital Bangla-desh," she said. "Youths of Bangladesh can easily adapt to any new invention. Promising and talented youths have already shown their capacity in ICT sector. This sector would be one of the largest contributors to our economic development by 2021."
She also said: "The government will set up one high-tech park in every district to flourish the ICT sector. Necessary incentives will also be given if the investors come up to invest in this sector in proposed 100 economic zones across the country."
"Bangladesh's economy is progressing fast with 7.28 percent annual growth. We won't need to have a look at any other sector if we can exploit the potentialities of the ICT," she said. Bangladesh's foreign exchange earnings would reach US$ 5 billion a year by 2021 which is now one billion dollar, the prime minister hoped.
She put emphasis on research and innovative activities which carry huge importance for flourishing information and technology sectors.The Premier also said that the government has been providing grants, stipends and scholarships for research and innovative development in the ICT sector to establishing an innovative design and entrepreneurship academy.
Sheikh Hasina urged all to come forward for building a prosperous digital Bangladesh to be enriched science and information technology sector.Sources said around 400 exhibitors from Bangladesh and abroad including policymakers, senior government officials and ministers, industry leaders, civil society spokespersons, investors and multinational software vendor are taking part in the event.
She also mentioned that there was only eight lakh people had access to internet in 2009 where the number of beneficiaries has been increased to crores. At present 130 million people use internet compared to only 40 million in 2009.
Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Post and Telecommunications and Information and Communication Technology Imran Ahmed and President of Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS) Mustafa Jabbar also spoke on the occasion with State Minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak in the chair.
Subir Kishore Chowdhury, secretary to the ICT division, gave welcome address while a documentary on the progress in the ICT sector was screened on the occasion.
A large number of people, mostly youths, gathered at the premises of the BICC from the wee hours of the day. They thronged there to experience the Digital World expo and World's first robot citizen Sophia. The robot met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and had a sweet conversation. Sophia then expressed how excited she was to attend Digital World 2017.
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