Bangladesh needs to change rules to open up economy further, says PM's ICT advisor

  • Staff Correspondent,
    Published: 2019-07-10 21:04:22 BdST


Sajeeb Wazed Joy has called for quick changes to the policies and regulations for Bangladeshi to be able to attract more foreign investments.

“We’ll have to move forward in partnership with foreign investors rather than considering them as competitors. To do this, the policies and laws require immediate changes. We can move faster if we can do so," said the prime minister’s ICT affairs advisor at a workshop in Dhaka on Wednesday.

Bangladesh Jatiya Sangsad in cooperation with the Information and Communication Technology Division organised the workshop to refesh the legislators about the Digital Bangladesh initiative.

“Many overseas companies are keen to invest here. But there is a conception among many of us that the foreign companies come and go away with profits. Think if foreign companies had not come to Bangladesh today, we would not be able to deliver 3G and 4G services.

"Today they’re not leaving the country with profits. They’re creating job opportunities and paying taxes. Today is the era of globalisation. We can’t remain isolated. We need to further open up our economy.”

Joy, also the son of the prime minister, underscored the need for changing mindset to reap the benefits of the foreign investments.

“The government can’t do everything alone. And the government shouldn’t do anything alone. Because, if the government does so, another issue comes to the forefront. That’s system loss. Private sector always takes profits and losses into account. So, there is a slim chance for the system loss. "

Joy urged the MPs to shake off fear and take lessons from countries like Singapore and Malaysia, which made remarkable advancements, before making changes to the policies and laws.


The prime minister’s advisor said the government plans to tweak the telecommunications policy.

“Our telecommunication policy is 20 years old. We need to give it new shape. I’ve taken the initiative. I've taken up a 15-year plan. We’ll make a completely new telecommunication policy. "

 “It’s the long-term vision. If we don’t do so, we’ll be stuck up at one point. In fact, we’re almost at that stage. It's the need of the hour. The telecommunication policy must be entirely changed. "

Highlighting development activities of the government in the ICT sector over the last ten years, Joy said, "When you needed to open a bank account or take a record of land what did you do before? You had to prove your identity. You had to bring birth certificates. You had to get certificates from the UNO. That information is now in the government database. There is an NID. You no longer need to bring certificates. You have to just show the NID.”

"Now I'm taking this one step further. You don’t need NID anymore. All data can be seen immediately after your fingerprint shows up. This information is in our own database. What is the benefit? Time will be saved."

Describing the benefits of digitisation of the government services, the advisor said, "If we digitise everything, we can actually make Bangladesh free from corruption. There is no scope for corruption when the government system will be digitised.”