Dutch minister gets close-up look at NTFII Bangladesh achievements
Ben Knapen, the Dutch Minister for Development Cooperation, got to learn first-hand about the accomplishments of the Netherlands Trust Fund II (NTFII) Bangladesh Project during a recent visit to Dhaka (22-23 May). Alphons Hennekens, the Dutch Ambassador to Bangladesh, organized a reception at the embassy to highlight the support given by the Dutch government to the development the Bangladeshi IT & ITES industry.ICT prospects for Bangladesh
Second Secretary Miriam Otto opened the reception with short presentation about the prospects of Bangladesh’s information and communications technology (ICT) industry, and the opportunities for Dutch small and medium-sized enterprises to invest in the country, which was followed by a Q&A session, and an introduction to the NTFII Bangladesh Project.
Mahfuzul Quader, ITC's Country Project Coordinator, gave an update on NTFII achievements so far, describing the initiatives launched since inception and the path forward until the project ends in March 2013. He expressed ITC’s appreciation for the support and cooperation given by the Dutch Centre for the Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries in implementing the NTFII programme, as well as to the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) and the Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS).
Mr Quader told the audience that, following matchmaking events held in 2011, several companies have signed business deals, while other enterprises have set up pilot schemes or trial projects. Fahim Mashroor, Senior Vice-President of BASIS, who gave an overview of the IT outsourcing market in Bangladesh, thanked Minister Knapen for the NTFII Project funding and urged the Dutch Government to extend its cooperation in developing Bangladesh's ICT sector. Shahroz Jalil, Group Director of Katalyst, and Rafi Ul Islam, Project Manager of Cimsolutions, outlined their activities in Bangladesh.
Minister Knapen also met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, top government officials, private-sector development partners and representatives from civil society. He also signed two Memorandums of Understanding, including one with the Government of Bangladesh.