Participants at a panel discussion during the Digital World 2016 conference yesterday at International Convention City in Dhaka
Bangladesh has a huge scope to bring more foreign investments using the high-tech park model but it would take time, experts said yesterday.
The view came at a seminar titled “Business Model for High-tech Zone” held at International Convention Centre, Bashundhara on the sidelines of Digital World 2016.
Expressing his views on the matter, Abu Reza Khan, managing director of Summit Technopolis Limited, pointed out that a Sri Lankan company has shown interest in developing an industry at the ongoing Kaliakoir Hi-tech Park and said “It is a very positive move for the industry.”
“Though Bangladesh has several Export Processing Zones (EPZ) but it took seven to eight years for the sector to gain momentum. The country has just started to set up the high-tech park, so it will take time to bring foreign investments,” he added.
In his suggestions, he said the price of lands at the high-tech park should be reconsidered as the price was too high.
“The high-tech park authority can allot lands for free which will definitely bring more investments,” he added,
Azad Chowdhury, director of business development at Bangladesh TechnoSity Limited, said: “TechnoSity is the very first company which started construction work of its block at the park. It would be ready for investors within summer next year.
“Bangladesh is a big market for local and international companies and can become an attractive destination for investors,” said Azad.
Hosne Ara Begum, managing director of Bangladesh Hi-tech Park Authority, said the park authority was establish in 2010 as an autonomous body to support the establishment and expansion of the ICT industry in Bangladesh through the creation, management, operation and development of high-tech parks.
“Since its inception, the high-tech park authority has successfully established Janata Tower Software Technology Park, Jessore Software Technology Park, and is in the process of developing several more high-tech parks across the country.
“These high-tech parks are an important part for achieving the Vision 2021 as they play a key role in the government’s plan to develop the ICT industry.”
When asked, she said: “If we had set up the Kaliakoir park near Dhaka airport it would have created huge traffic congestions.”
She said: “The Kaliakoir Hi-tech Park would have both road and rail connectivity which will ensure quick communication.” Martti Launonen, chairman of Hubconcepts Inc, presented his speech as keynote speaker.
Mentioning some technology park in Thailand, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Hong Kong and UK, he said: “Bangladesh can follow these types of model to set up new high-tech zones in the country.”
Meanwhile at the seminar, Matti Sakari Latva-aho, professor of University of Oulu, Finland, talked about wireless communication technology in Bangladesh and its prospects to take the country further into the digital world.
He said: “Introduction of 5G network bands will dramatically change business of the mobile operators in the country. This will also enable the advancement of IT related sectors and boost businesses centring ICT.”