The government has endorsed 55 international online marketplaces for freelancers in the country, making their earnings from these platforms eligible for a 4% cash incentive against exports of software, information technology-enabled services (ITES) and hardware.
A senior official of the central bank said there are numerous platforms for earning online – there are some very popular but dark sites too. Initially, the ICT Division has fixed these 55 marketplaces as valid platforms for cash incentive facilities.
It will help both the bankers and freelancers to make sure the incentives are earned against export earnings, the official said.
According to a Bangladesh Bank circular on Sunday, the marketplaces are Upwork, Fiverr, Freelancer, Guru, People Per Hour, Toptal, FlexJobs, 99designs, SimplyHired, Aquent, PubLoft, Designhill, Bark, Golance, FreeUp, Hubstaff Talent, SolidGigs, We Work Remotely, Gigster, Dribbble, Behance, CloudPeeps, Envato, Hackerone, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Shutterstock, Adobe Stock, iStock, Depositphotos, 123rf, Pond5, Dreamstime, Creative Market, CanStockPhoto, Alamy, Unity Asset Store, Sketchfab, Freepik, Awin, Shareasale, Flexoffers, MaxBounty, Tradedoubler, CJ Affiliate, Viglink, JVZoo, Rakuten, ClickBank, Amazon Associates, Walmart, Google AdSense, Facebook Monetization, YouTube Monetization, AppStore, and Playstore.
Freelancers, who are working with software and IT-related services on different international marketplaces for global clients, get this cash incentive against their foreign currency earnings up to $5,000.
The government has been providing a 4% cash incentive to the freelancers against their earnings by exporting services since September last year to patronise online workers and lure more youths into the sector.
The central bank recently simplified the procedure of cash incentives for freelancers that the government will provide the incentive just after verifying the freelancers' claimed earnings. Earlier, it required a lot of documents.
The central bank termed the freelancers' exporting products as "software and information technology-enabled services", which includes digital content development and management, animation (both 2D and 3D), geographic information services, IT support and software maintenance services, website services, business process outsourcing, data entry, data processing, call centre, graphics design (digital service), search engine optimization, web listing, e-commerce and online shopping, document conversion, imaging and archiving, software or application customization, website development, website hosting, digital data analytics, software test lab services, overseas medical transcription, robotics process outsourcing, and cyber security services.
The country is now receiving nearly $300 million through banking channels from the ICT service exports.