Bangladesh Development Fair held in The Netherlands Road Map to Digital Bangladesh and Role of NRBs

10 March 2018, The Hague: Embassy of Bangladesh in The Hague organized Bangladesh Development Fair on 10 March 2018. Approximately one hundred members of expatriate Bangladesh community participated in the programme. Apart from portraying key developments of Bangladesh in different sectors, the programme highlighted how Bangladesh origin IT experts can contribute in implementation of Digital Bangladesh. A separate discussion session on “Road map for Digital Bangladesh: Role of NRBs” was held as part of development fair.

The programme started with paying tribute to the Father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and great martyr’s of glorious liberation war of 1971. At the outset, Mr. Kazi Russel Pervez, Counsellor of the Embassy presented a power point presentation on development activities of Bangladesh. Followed by a presentation of Mr. Shakir Khan, Network Engineer of Genexis on IT sector of Bangladesh. In this presentation he mentioned: how the Netherlands and Bangladesh can enhance collaboration in IT sector, what measures should be taken to identify potential Dutch IT companies and encourage them to make collaboration/investment in IT sector of Bangladesh, how the Dutch IT companies can extend cooperation to Bangladesh and Bangladeshi IT expat community living in the Netherlands in terms of entrepreneurship development, human resource development, and technology transfer, how to initiate “start-up” consultation/programs between Dutch ventures and Bangladeshi start-up community such as (together with ICT Division, Bangladesh) and how expatriate community can be involved in implementation of Digital Bangladesh.

After presentation, in open discussion session a good number of members of expatriate community shared their ideas, views and thoughts on making a bridge between Bangladeshi IT expats community in the Netherlands and IT sectors (both public and private) in Bangladesh. They expressed their interest to contribute in development of IT sector of Bangladesh and urged for the support of the Embassy as well as the Government to network them with appropriate authority of Bangladesh. A group of young IT professionals summed up the session and proposed a way forward to create a platform for more collaboration in IT sector of two countries. Brainchain, a local NRB voluntary group will take the lead to promote Bangladesh’s IT potential to the Dutch businesses and organization. NRBs in the Netherlands will also undertake in depth research and studies to work as a bridge between Bangladesh and the Netherlands IT sector

In concluding remarks, H.E. Sheikh Mohammed Belal, Ambassador of Bangladesh in The Netherlands explained how important digitalization is for Bangladesh to achieve Vision 2021 and Vision 2041 as well as SDG 2030. Mentioning that Bangladesh is enjoying unique demographic dividend, he emphasized that IT sector of Bangladesh would facilitate to ensure employment for our young generation. He urged to the expatriate community to do their part through sharing their experiences of ‘innovation’ and ‘creativity’. Ambassador Belal advised Bangladesh origin IT experts to extend their support so that Bangladesh can also achieve desirable success and considered as IT hub of South-Asia. Ambassador Belal, drawing reference from US political history on how President Kennedy worked towards implementing his mission to send human being to mission, assured the NRBs that Bangladesh also lucky to have visionary leader like Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina who is working to implement Digital Bangladesh. Ambassador Belal urged NRBs to contribute also towards vision 2041 which termed as “count down 2041”.

Expatriate Bangladesh community expressed their satisfaction on Embassy’s activities and thanked for taking such progressive attempt to coordinate IT sector of The Netherlands and Bangladesh. Later, ‘Trimatrik’ a musical band of Bangladesh origin singers presented cultural performance and the guests were served with traditional Bangladeshi lunch.

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