- With 82 investment companies, Bangabandhu hi-tech city currently employs over 4000 individuals
- The Sheikh Hasina Software Technology Park in Jashore stands as the country’s first fully-fledged software technology park
- The Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Hi-Tech Park in Rajshahi is providing employment opportunities for approximately 500 individuals
- The Bangladesh Hi-Tech Park Authority is actively engaged in establishing 111 high-tech parks/software technology parks/IT parks/innovation centers nationwide, comprising 92 government-owned and 19 privately-owned facilities
Technology parks, or hi-tech parks, serve as designated zones that furnish infrastructure, resources, and assistance to technology-centric enterprises. Bangladesh, on the cutting edge of technological evolution, has emerged as a beacon of innovation with the establishment of Hi-Tech Parks. These futuristic hubs, stand as dedicated zones meticulously crafted to provide the ideal breeding ground for technology-based enterprises.
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Pioneering this transformative initiative, the government of Bangladesh has strategically positioned these parks as catalysts for fostering innovation, entrepreneurship, and economic growth. Notable examples include the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Hi-Tech Park in Gazipur and the Janata Tower Software Technology Park in Dhaka.
These hubs are equipped with modern amenities, including high-speed internet, cutting-edge telecommunication systems, and an uninterrupted power supply. The creation of hi-tech parks in Bangladesh marks a pivotal move toward constructing a knowledge-based economy. These parks are designed to allure both local and foreign investments into the information technology (IT) sector, generate employment opportunities, and contribute to economic expansion.
The Bangladesh Hi-Tech Park Authority (BHTPA), established under the “Bangladesh Hi-Tech Park Authority Act-2010,” is dedicated to implementing and sustaining these projects.
Hi-Tech Parks Showcasing Innovation in Action
Presently, there are approximately 28 Hi-Tech Parks (HTP) / Software Technology Parks (STP) / IT Training and Incubation Centers scattered across the nation. Some of these projects have been completed and are currently operational, while others are still under construction.
A noteworthy initiative is the construction of the Bangabandhu Hi-Tech City in Kaliakoir, Gazipur, spanning an expansive 355 acres. With 82 investment companies, it currently employs over 4000 individuals. The Park has designated co-working spaces for 12 startup companies, including Oryx Bio-Tech Ltd., the nation’s first biotech company.
Within the park, the establishment of the world’s 7th largest data center is a significant achievement. Notable contributions include the manufacturing of optical fibers, mobile phones, vehicle connections, CCTV cameras, kidney dialysis machines, batteries, smart TVs, laptops, ATMs, and more.
The Sheikh Hasina Software Technology Park in Jashore stands as the country’s first fully-fledged software technology park. It accommodates 59 investment companies, providing workspaces for 1600 employees. The Park is actively involved in e-commerce, software development, call center services, training, freelancing, digital marketing, and various other activities.
The Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Hi-Tech Park in Rajshahi spans an area of 30.67 acres, featuring the Silicon Tower, a 10-story multi-tenant building, and the Sheikh Kamal IT Training and Innovation Center. The Park has allocated space for eight IT companies and co-working areas for four startups, resulting in employment opportunities for approximately 500 individuals.
Similarly, the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Hi-Tech Park in Sylhet, encompasses 171 acres. It has granted land to 10 establishments, including four established companies and 13 startup companies. Once fully operational, this park is anticipated to create employment opportunities for around 50,000 people.
The Sheikh Kamal IT Training and Innovation Center, situated on the premises of the former jail in Natore district, has undergone extensive renovation and modernization of its four buildings. This transformation has turned it into a fully-fledged Innovation and Training Center. Notably, each of its locations boasts well-designed parks. The facility has been designated for use by four companies, and it currently hosts ten startups, providing workspace for more than 40 young professionals.
Affiliated with the Chittagong University of Engineering and Technology (CUET), the Sheikh Kamal IT Business Incubator stands out as the nation’s pioneering university-based comprehensive business incubator. The incubator building spans 10 floors and is outfitted with essential amenities, serving as a central hub for collaboration between the IT industry, academia, and government entities. Moreover, there are separate six-floor dormitories for both male and female students. The establishment fosters a knowledge hub by facilitating synergy among the IT industry, academia, and government sectors.
Tracking the Progress of Bangladesh’s Hi-Tech Vision
Following the announcement by the Honorable Prime Minister, endeavors have been initiated to establish “Sheikh Kamal IT Training and Innovation Centers” in all 64 districts of the country. In the initial phase, on February 7, 2017, approval was granted for the establishment of Sheikh Kamal IT Training and Innovation Centers in eight districts (Comilla, Chittagong, Singra in Natore, Sylhet, Barisal, Magura, Netrokona, and Pirganj in Rangpur) to generate employment opportunities for 10,000 individuals in each innovation center.
In the subsequent phase, efforts to establish IT Training and Innovation Centers in eleven districts have commenced. Furthermore, a supplementary project has been initiated to establish another IT Training and Innovation Center in fourteen districts.
How are hi-tech parks designed to attract both local and foreign investments, generate employment opportunities, and contribute to economic expansion?Anyone who has to develop software or an application (or even a software farm) will have to spend a lot of money to get the appropriate infrastructure (such as a high-speed network, a lot of storage, various pricey hardware, and so on). Hi-tech parks are intended to give low-cost infrastructural assistance as well as software and hardware resources to technology-based firms. They provide cutting-edge infrastructure, tax breaks, access to trained personnel, and research facilities, and develop a supporting environment for such enterprises, to attract both domestic and global investors.
The hi-tech parks help to create job possibilities by fostering an environment that encourages innovation and collaboration. They eventually contribute to economic growth by stimulating entrepreneurship, knowledge sharing, and technical development.
Under the project titled “Establishment of IT/High-Tech Parks in Districts (12 Districts),” IT/High-Tech parks will be established in each of the 12 districts. Additionally, to meet the workforce demands in these IT parks, training on IT/ITES will be provided to a total of 10,000 young individuals at the local and national levels within the project scope. These IT parks aim to create employment opportunities for a total of 60,000 young individuals.
The Bangladesh Hi-Tech Park Authority is playing a crucial role in realizing the goal of transforming Bangladesh into a technology-dependent, advanced, and smart country. Presently, the authority is actively engaged in establishing 111 high-tech parks/software technology parks/IT parks/innovation centers nationwide, comprising 92 government-owned and 19 privately-owned facilities.
In conclusion, Bangladesh’s Hi-Tech Park Initiative isn’t just about infrastructure; it’s about sculpting a future where innovation, technology, and economic growth converge seamlessly. The journey continues, and as these parks evolve, so does Bangladesh’s trajectory towards becoming a global technology hub. The stage is set, and the future promises an era where technology isn’t just embraced but celebrated, with Bangladesh leading the way.