DHAKA, November 26, 2012 — The government of Bangladesh today signed a financing agreement with the World Bank worth $70 million for the Leveraging ICT for Growth, Employment and Governance Project. The project aims to create an estimated 30,000 direct jobs in the IT and ITES sectors, which has the potential to create up to 120,000 indirect jobs, and expects to increase the IT and ITES industry revenue by over $200 million by the end of the initiative.
Studies indicate that Bangladesh possesses significant comparative advantage in the IT and ITES industry due to the availability of a large English-educated talent pool and competitive labor costs. In addition, the industry possesses particular strengths in niche sub-segments, such as software programming, graphics and animation.
"The project would directly benefit 30,000 youth who will gain marketable and globally recognized IT and ITES skills. Among them, 9,000 will be women,” said Ellen Goldstein, Country Director, World Bank Bangladesh. “Bangladeshis will benefit from increased incomes due to upgrading of and enhanced employment opportunities in a growing global IT industry.”
The project will also establish basic e-Government foundations, to support governance reforms and significantly improve the government’s efficiency and effectiveness. Specifically, the proposed technology foundation will enable all ministries and agencies to host their systems and information on a shared datacenter; exchange information and collaborate using standardized frameworks; and protect data through information security policies and standards.
“Bangladesh needs targeted programs to develop Bangladesh’s potential in the IT/ITES industry along with focus to build the necessary e-Government foundations,” said Mr. Iqbal Mahmood, Senior Secretary, Economic Relations Division. “This initiative will meaningfully leverage ICT for development and will allow the country to tap into the tremendous potential of the global IT and ITES industry for economic and social development.”
Mr. Iqbal Mahmood, Senior Secretary, Economic Relations Division and Ms. Ellen Goldstein, Country Director, World Bank Bangladesh signed on behalf of the government of Bangladesh and the World Bank respectively, at the Economic Relations Division.
All credits from the International Development Association (IDA), World Bank’s concessionary arm, are interest-free, have 40 years maturity period with a 10-year grace period, and a service charge of 0.75 percent on disbursed funds.