State Minister for Information and Communication Technology, Zunaid Ahmed Palak, has said an inter-operable digital transaction platform will be launched in January to curb the cost and harassment of financial transactions.
"The goal of the digital transaction platform is to provide digital services to people. A non-refundable fund of Tk50,000 will be provided to 2,000 small women entrepreneurs for website development and marketing," said the state minister at the 2nd session of "Capacity Building Training for Ananda Mela Platform Users in Bangladesh Kick-off Workshop" on Sunday.
The Bangladesh Women's Chamber of Commerce and Industries (BWCCI) organised the programme at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre.
Online banking, electronic money transfers, and the use of ATM cards have helped e-commerce to grow in the country. Till March 2020, the size of e-commerce was Tk8,500 crore, which doubled during Covid-19 times. By 2023, the domestic e-commerce market could reach Tk25,000 crore, Palak added.
He said that as a result of various initiatives taken by the government, a start-up ecosystem has developed in the country. Start-ups are being given grants through the Innovation Design and Entrepreneurship Academy (iDEA) project initiated by the ICT division.
The state minister said the digital economy is developing in the country with the implementation of Digital Bangladesh. In 2018, exports in the ICT sector exceeded $1 billion. Bangladesh ranks second in the online labour force. About 6.5 million freelancers are earning about $500 million yearly from the outsourcing sector at present.
Out of 39 high-tech or IT parks, eight have already been set up and domestic and foreign investors have started business activities there. Of these, 120 companies have invested Tk326 crore in five parks and over 13,000 job opportunities have been created, he added.
He said when the high-tech parks are completed, more than three lakh people will be employed. An investment target of Tk2,400 crore by 2025has been set for the parks.
Among others, UNDP Country Economist Nazneen Ahmed spoke at the function presided over by BWCCI President Selima Ahmed.