Mahbubul Alam, President of Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) on Wednesday said Chattogram can become hub of IT sector in future.
"The modernisation and use of IT in Chittagong Port, Customs, EPZ, Shipping, Freight Forwarding and C&F activities have reduced both time and cost of doing business. This sector can be developed by setting up IT village like economic zones in this region," he said while addressing a roundtable titled "Developing Chittagong as an IT destination and showcasing leading tech companies of Bangladesh" held at the World Trade Center, Chattogram on the day.
CCCI and eGeneration Group jointly arranged the roundtable.
He puts importance on coordination between public and private sector, building up skilled manpower for outsourcing, employment generation, earning foreign exchange and establish small scale business in making Bangladesh a developed country and include IT in formal education as well as facilitate IT training massively.
The CCCI president expects that Chattogram will lead the country in IT sector like trade and businesses.
The multi-stakeholder roundtable was moderated by Shameem Ahsan, Chairman of eGeneration Group.
SM Ashraful Islam, Executive Vice Chairman of eGeneration presented a keynote on "Developing Chittagong as an IT Destination" followed by an open panel discussion.
Speaking at the roundtable, Shameem Ahsan, Chairman of eGeneration Group said, "Back in 1983 in India, Infosys and Wipro moved their head offices to Bangalore, which is now the Indian IT hub; followed by other tech companies.
"This included foreign companies looking to cut costs by employing more affordable developers. This is how the whole IT outsourcing model was born. It is about time that proper strategies and initiatives are taken to make Chattogram as the country's IT destination," he said.
Bangladesh's oldest and largest corporate entities once had their headquarters in Chattogram. Unilever, Reckitt, and many others used to operate from the port city.
"Chittagong University, Chittagong University of Engineering and Technology and Asian University for Women are producing world class professionals, so there is no reason why we can't make Chattogram as the next IT destination among emerging markets," Shameem Ahsan asserted.
SM Ashraful Islam, Executive Vice Chairman of eGeneration Group said, "The ever developing ICT industry in our country has unlimited potential for growth. The growing IT needs of all the businesses and sectors make the time ripe for development of the sector. Developing an ecosystem with perspectives for skilled resources in emerging technologies, startups at varying levels of maturity and venture capital can help foster an innovative environment for this region."
M Shaifur Rahman Mazumdar, MD of Chittagong Stock Exchange said that public investment must be increased in order to make Chattogram IT hub.
He urged the business leaders to pursue the government for separating administrative capital and commercial capital. The experts discussed about required technical framework, necessary action and branding for making Chattogram an IT hub by involving policy makers from public and private sector, IT sector leaders and leaders from private sectors.
The roundtable gathered decision making authorities from the Government and trade associations, top technology leaders, representatives from private sector to exchange and share visions as well as strategies for creating and branding Chattogram as the next IT destination.
Prof. Shahadat Hossain, Department of CSE of Chittagong University, CCCI Director Anjan Shekhar Das, Abida Mustafa, Senior-Vice President, Chittagong Women Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Showkat Osman, former director, BKMEA, Syed Sirajul Islam Kamu, Managing Director, Well Group, Md. Abdullah Farid, President, Society of Chittagong IT Professionals (SCITP), Senior Solution Architect Souvik Das, SAP Indian Pvt. Ltd., Mr. Hasan Murad, Head of IT, KSRM, Mr. Wakar Khan, SCO of CPA, Mr. Iqbal Hasan, Head of IT, CCC, Mr. Ahsanul Islam, Chairman, BD Venture Ltd. and Managing Director Mr. Shawkat Hossain, Mr. Waseem Alim, CEO, Chaldal.com, Mr. Mirajul Huq, CEO, BAGDOOM.com, Mr. Abul Kashem, Chairman, BIPC, Mr. Shah Poran, CEO, Handymama, representative from James Clip Ahnaf Mohsin and Syed Jalal Ahned Rumman, Chairman, Hamer Strength Fitness and other key personnel from different sectors took part in the panel discussion.