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Saudi, Bangladeshi ICT cooperation on the anvil.

MOHAMMED RASOOLDEEN

RIYADH: The Kingdom and Bangladesh will soon enter into a cooperation agreement in the field of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) for mutual benefits. Announcing the proposed cooperation, visiting Bangladesh State Minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmad Palak said the decision was taken during a discussion which took place with Communications and Information Technology Minister Dr. Mohammed Al-Suwaiyel in Riyadh on Wednesday. The presentation was attended by Al-Suwaiyel, Palak and Bangladesh Ambassador Golam Moshi. IT specialists, Saudi businessmen involved in ICT and journalists were also present. Bangladesh's ICT industry has developed over the past decade and generates around $300 million in revenues yearly. ICT can help create jobs for women and youths in both local and global markets. Realizing the potential, the government of Bangladesh has initiated many steps to promote ICT. Employment opportunities in the sector are enormous for women, provided that the country further strengthens its ICT infrastructure and prepares women and youths to tap into the global ICT market. The minister said that out of 160 million people, 130 million use mobile phones and 50 million make use of the Internet in the country. There are 118 universities that teach ICT and more than 300,000 graduates pass out as IT-qualified graduates. He said that there are many opportunities between the two countries. "So far we have identified 11 areas where the two countries can cooperate with each other," he added. Al-Suwaiyel said that a memorandum of understanding between the two countries will be drafted based on the discussions that took place between the two ministers. He mentioned that some of the proposed areas would include training of human resources, exchange of training programs, cybersecurity, e-governance and outsourcing opportunities. Ambassador Moshi said the meeting between the two ministers was really successful and opened up new areas of cooperation in the field of ICT. He pointed out that his country will offer a 12-year tax holiday for foreign developers and 10 years tax exemption for IT companies. He said his government will provide 100 percent ownership for foreign investors and 100 percent profit repatriation for investors. Describing it as a successful trip, Moshi said that besides the support from the government, a good number of Saudi-based companies have expressed willingness to initiate cooperation with his country's IT companies.

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Publication:Arab News (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Date:Oct 9, 2015
Words:396
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