Software exports in Bangladesh go up 32pc

Software exports in the first 11 months of fiscal 2012-13 witnessed a 32.08 percent rise, according to Export Promotion Bureau.

Export earnings stood at $92.53 million in the period, rising from $70.81 million in the same time a year ago.

Russell T Ahmed, secretary general of Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services, said, “It was our prediction that exports would hit the $100 million mark last fiscal year, which has been reflected in the figures.”

In addition, freelancers exported IT products worth around $25 million, which does not come in the government’s records, he added.

There are more than 20,000 active freelancers who work from home and earn foreign currency, Ahmed said.

He hoped that it would be possible to set the software export target at $1 billion in the next couple of years, given the government makes a three- to five-year master plan with support from the media and trade bodies.

“The main challenges for the sector are a lack of country branding, human resources and infrastructure support. These three should be addressed in the master plan.”

He said people in the West acknowledge Bangladesh as a readymade garment and shrimp exporting country; but the country has the capability to export software, which has not been branded yet.

The government as well as the ICT ministry has a role to play in this, he added.

The top software export destinations include the US, UK, Canada, Australia, Denmark, Netherlands, Germany, India and Japan.

Bangladesh software exports