DHAKA, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) -- Bangladesh is in need of more Chinese support to build its digital infrastructure, a minister has said.
The country's Telecommunication and ICT Minister Mustafa Jabbar told Xinhua recently that "We have priorities for building digital Bangladesh. If you ask me, my priorities are also to look to the Chinese government to help us to build a digital infrastructure in Bangladesh."
"Digital Bangladesh" is a major goal of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's for the country, and so special emphasis is given on the application of digital technologies to realize an ICT based modern nation by 2021.
This would comprise an adequate power supply, well-networked infrastructure, availability of the internet, the use of open-source software, e-banking, e-commerce and e-governance.
Jabbar, who has recently been entrusted with the responsibility of an entire telecom ministry, said his government needs more Chinese support to speed up the implementation of the digital dream.
He said China is a large country which has similarity with Bangladesh in many areas. "China has the largest human resources and Bangladesh also has sizable manpower. Bangladesh also has the advantage of having a large young population. A minimum of 65 percent of the population is aged below 30 years old that is an advantage," said Jabbar.
"So it is important whether we can utilize all human resources for our national development," added Jabbar, an iconic Bangladeshi businessman and technology entrepreneur.
He is best known for being the creator of the Bijoy software, which is a simple and easy-to-use software for typing in Bangla. He pioneered the Bijoy Bengali Keyboard, the first Bengali keyboard in 1988, which is still a widely used Bengali input method around the world.
"We can definitely get support from China which is one of the world's most successful and largest economies. And Bangladesh also has a good relationship with China and we are finding that this Chinese government is financing different projects events related to my ministry," said the minister.
"So we hope that China will extend their supportive hands though G2G (government to government) endeavors. Or even help the private sectors. I hope the Chinese government will definitely help us in all these areas. We are very hopeful. What we feel that the circumstances in Bangladesh are now ripe for manufacturing."
He also called upon more Chinese businesses involved in manufacturing digital devices and electronic goods to set up hubs in Bangladesh.
"I have talked to some of the Chinese companies. They find that this is a good opportunity for establishing a manufacturing plant here. We can assure them that there will be good market for them here."
"We have 160 million people. Out of that 55 million are students and these students will be purchasing digital devices," he said.
Regarding foreign companies' investment in Bangladesh's IT sector, the minister said they encourage Bangladeshi and Chinese joint venture investments.