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Chipmaking sector to be worth $10b by 2041 with policy support: Palak

Chipmaking sector to be worth $10b by 2041 with policy support: Palak

Staff Correspondent

State Minister for Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology Zunaid Ahmed Palak on Wednesday said the country’s semiconductor sector can bring in $10 billion in export earnings by 2041, if it gets proper support from the government.

"[The] Semiconductor manufacturing industry has a great potential to become a billion dollar sector in Bangladesh. Here in Bangladesh there are a few design houses and they are doing well but in chip fabrication, assembly, testing and packaging we still lag behind. Proper policy support and required incentives can create a $10 billion semiconductor industry by the year 2041," he said.

Palak said this while speaking as the chief guest at a seminar titled "Unleashing the potential of semiconductor industry in Bangladesh" organised by Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) at DCCI office in the city.

Highlighting the country’s growing readiness for making chips and for making other hi-tech strides, Managing Director of the Bangladesh High-Tech Park Authority GSM Jafarullah said that the government has started developing innovation hubs in ten universities across the country.

The government is also establishing Sheikh Hasina Institute of Frontier Technology on a 70-acre piece of land, in Shibchar, Madaripur, Jafarullah informed.

Jafarullah further said that work on establishing 21 high-tech parks out of the targeted 94 has nearly been completed.

In his speech, Palak said that the uses of microchip and nano chip as well as the manufacturing of semiconductors are growing day by day and if the government can give the right policy support to the sector, it will be possible to earn at least $10 billion from exporting semiconductor items by 2041.

He again reiterated the urgency and need of a government semiconductor policy for the faster development of this sector.

At the same time, he also urged for an industry-academia collaboration to create a highly skilled and technologically advanced workforce especially for this sector as the demand is very high at home and abroad.

He later cited a number of achievements to highlight the country’s digital transformation: the government has established hundreds of digital labs, testing is going on for 5G rollout, more than 13 crore people use internet across the country, 19 crore people use mobile phones, nearly 100% of the country has been brought under electricity coverage.

"And if we can give proper policy support, incentive and guidelines coupled with skilled manpower and possession of high-end sophisticated technology, we will be able to achieve the target of achieving a smart Bangladesh by 2041," he added.

He also said that we have to make plans to create at least 50 thousand chip designers in the country.

Later, he said that with the help of talented entrepreneurs and enthusiastic private sector players, Bangladesh will be able to become a knowledge-based smart country by the year 2041.

DCCI President Ashraf Ahmed suggested that for successful implementation of the government’s plans for import substitution and increased self-sufficiency as well as industrialisation and export diversification, Bangladesh should prioritise the development of the semiconductor industry.

Many countries are investing heavily in the industry, creating a high demand for skilled workers, he said.

He mentioned that the government should focus on cultivating a skilled workforce required to meet the growing demands of the semiconductor industry in Bangladesh.

He also underscored the importance of simplifying administrative procedures for setting up semiconductor businesses, and for allowing speedy licensing, permits procurement, and import/export execution.

He further said that a transparent and efficient regulatory environment will encourage investment and reduce operational hurdles.

He also recommended ensuring robust protection for intellectual property (IP) to encourage innovation and attract foreign investors.

Bangladesh also needs a holistic framework to develop an ecosystem for sustainable and inclusive growth of the semiconductor industry taking into account the views of stakeholders, Palak opined.

Managing Director of the Bangladesh High-Tech Park Authority GSM Jafarullah said that the government is facilitating private sector entrepreneurs with land and space facilities at the knowledge-based parks and software parks.

He invited the private sector to invest in the semiconductor industry more.

The government is also considering the best possible tax benefits for the ICT sector with a view to attracting more local and foreign investment to the sector, he added.

Professor ASMA Haseeb, from the Department of Nanomaterials and Ceramic Engineering at BUET, presented the keynote paper at the event.

Managing Director of Bondstein Technologies Ltd Mir Shahrukh Islam, Co-founder and Vice President of the Software Teton Private Ltd Razib Hasan and Additional Managing Director of Walton Digi-Tech Industries Liakat Ali, among others, spoke on the occasion.

 

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