SL ICTA works with Bangladesh to enhance ICT sector cooperation
Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are now working together to enhance the ICT sector with the aim of improving connection creating new opportunities for development.
The High Commission of Sri Lanka in Dhaka organized a virtual meeting with the participation of the Information Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) in Sri Lanka and the Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS) this week to explore the opportunities of enhancing cooperation in the ICT sector and digital economy of both countries.
Making a comprehensive presentation, Associate Chief Digital Economy Officer of ICTA Sachindra Samararatne and Director Industry Development of ICTA Chiranthi Balapatabendi explained Sri Lanka’s ICT industry, its strengths and potential areas that can be collaborated. They also elaborated Sri Lanka’s 5-year strategy to develop the country’s Digital Economy.
Leading the discussion, Vice President of BASIS Fahim Ahmed and the officials of ICTA discussed potential areas of cooperation, which include connecting ICTA with BASIS members, exchanging ICT sector delegations, increasing links with universities to promote ICT education, sharing expertise in skills development and capacity building.
First Secretary (Commercial) Srimali Jayarathna of the High Commission of Sri Lanka participated in the discussion.
Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are two developing countries in South Asia and have commonalities in values and culture, and share similar developmental aspirations.
Both countries are members of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) and the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), which has allowed both countries to foster engagement.
Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have already signed six Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) for strengthening youth development, agricultural research, exchange of professional knowledge, training of health nursing staff, international collaboration study and an interchange cultural program for 2021-2025.
Furthermore, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, have decided to advance the process of signing the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) allowing duty free access to a range of goods between two countries to boost trade further.
This interim arrangement will be signed as it requires much time to complete a study for inking a Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
With a GDP of over US $ 305 billion, Bangladesh currently has the world’s 41st largest economy and forecasts suggest that the size of the economy could double by 2030.
Sri Lankan firms can explore opportunities in Bangladesh’s growing market for long-term growth prospects, which has also been called as next China, due to the low cost and high return in manufacturing.
In recent years, Bangladesh has emerged as a leading manufacturer of textile products and become a front runner in South Asia.
Focusing on Bangladeshi and Sri Lankan manufacturers’ own comparative advantages, both countries’ manufacturers have potential to further collaborate in the garment production process.