Saturday, 1 April, 2023

Software export data creates confusion

The technology export data has created confusion, as the trade body shared figures of $1.4 billion in earnings without any credible source.

“Software exporters earned nearly $ 800 million by exporting services. Besides, freelancers contributed to take the earnings to $ 1.4 billion,” Russell T Ahmed, president of Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS), told Daily Sun on Wednesday.

However, there is no match between BASIS's data and the official data of the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) under the Ministry of Commerce.

EPB data for the first six months of the current fiscal year showed that technology-enabled service providers earned $592.06 million by exporting software, data processing, and consultancy, with a negative year-on-year growth of 1.84 percent, despite tax holiday facilities provided by the government until 2023, and a 10percent incentive for each shipment of information technology-enabled services.

Russell T Ahmed stated that the lack of research is a "limitation" for the industry, and annual assessments are needed to achieve growth potential.

He added that a single point of information for the technology industry is necessary as the country moves towards becoming smarter.

In an interview with Daily Sun in 2022, Ahmed expressed his dream of surpassing the earnings of the garment sector within the next ten years through exports of ITeS.

The government had previously projected to earn $5 billion from tech-enabled exports within 2021, but this target was not met, and the target was shifted to 2025 in line with the government's "Smart Bangladesh" vision.

The BASIS is currently organizing the SoftExpo, where approximately 200 local and foreign dignitaries are scheduled to share knowledge on the software industry.