Dubai: Bangladesh is setting up four technology parks to promote IT export and business process outsourcing (BPO) business and hopes to attract investment from the Middle East market.

Rafique Ahammed, Commercial Counsellor at Consulate General of Bangladesh, told Gulf News that the plan is to have 15 techno parks by 2021 and seeks $1 billion (Dh3.67 billion) export earnings within the next three years.

He said the South Asian country offers a huge potential for ICT (information and communications technology) sector as it gears up the digital transformation with ‘Digital Bangladesh’ platform.

“The ICT sector is growing very fast and the exports now stand at $500 million. We are exporting it to European and American markets,” he said.

According to Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS), which represents more than 1,000 software development and ITES companies in Bangladesh, export earnings from software and information technology enabled services (ITES) is expected to jump 250 per cent from $400 million in 2014 to $1 billion in the next three years.

By 2018, Bangladesh plans to host one million IT professionals and add 10 million internet users per year. ITES companies currently employ more than 70,000 high-skilled professionals.

Ahammed said that the government has started apps competition at the school level to encourage students into the IT field and boost the economy.

“We have established an ICT division under the government to attract foreign investment. At the moment, he said that the ICT sector contributes around one per cent to the GDP and targets five per cent by 2021,” he said.

Six companies are participating at Gitex this year compared to seven year in bid to demonstrate its capabilities in ICT sector.

“Bangladesh is gradually becoming a hub for application and software development. The country has now a large pool of talents capable of undertaking any IT services, outsourcing work as the country’s hidden potential is being recognised by the leading multinational corporations,” Ahammed said.