Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith has said Bangladesh has witnessed some magnificent developments in the ICT sector in the past seven years.
"The mobile penetration has increased sharply during the past couple of years with 130 million active subscribers. The number of internet users has increased to over 56 million," he told a programme on "Opening of Bangladesh priorities" here on Sunday night.
Access to Information (a2i) Programme of Prime Minister's Office (PMO) organized the programme held at the PMO.
Sate Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam, Nobel laureate economist Prof Finn E. Kydland, Prime Minister's Principal Secretary Abul Kalam Azad, Eminent Economist Prof Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman and Project Director of the a2i programe Kabir Bin Anwar, policy makers, officials, researchers and IT and development experts, among others, spoke at the programme.
President of Copenhagen Consensus Centre (CCC) Dr Bjorn Lomborg made a presentation at the programme.
Muhith said although Bangladesh has achieved a good progress in expansion of education, it lags behind in promoting technical education. "It is really uncomfortable to us that the number of students in science groups is declining. This is an alarming trend for our country's education sector," he added.
Climate is a very crucial issue for Bangladesh as the country is the worst victim of adverse impact of climate change, the finance minister said, "We are contributing very little to global carbon emission, which are mainly responsible for the rise of global warming."
"Our two neighboring countries -- China and India -- are major carbon emitters. All leading carbon emitting countries must come forward to address the climate change issue to make sure sustainable development across the globe," he added.
Shariar said Bangladesh made a remarkable progress in different indicators of economics, which has been lauded at global media.
"We would be able to achieve middle-income status by 2021, if this development continues," he added.
In his presentation, Dr Bjon projected a ratio of cost and benefit of some key social and economical sectors including digitization in public services, food security, nutrition and agriculture, health, education, water and sanitation, environment and biodiversity and climate change.
He said e-procurement across public services and land record digitization of Bangladesh will provide high economic benefits. "If Bangladesh will spend one Taka for e-procurement, it will get benefits of Taka 663 while land records digitization will give a benefit of Taka 619 against the cost of one taka," Dr Bjon added.