Forty thousand new jobs have been created in the readymade garment (RMG) sector including spinning and knitwear factories by the use of information technology (IT).
This indicates the touch of digitalization has given a boost to the biggest export earning sector of national economy.
"The RMG sector is going through rapid digitalisation as the old system is no more capable of handling the huge volume of activities involved in this sector. International RMG sector was digitalized much before as such to survive in this trade we must go for expansion of IT programmes quickly," said Atiqul Islam, President, BGMEA [Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers & Exporters Association].
He said, "During the last one year we have produced IT engineers and developed IT network to provide jobs in RMG sector including all other branches of textiles".
"As the demand for IT engineers and IT supervisors in the international markets has gone up, there is potentials for our IT experts to fill up those vacancies and earn foreign currency for our exchequer," he added.
At present Tk 689 crore is being earned everyday from the RMG sector, which, however, would be much more when the entire sector would be covered within IT network. As the international markets are run by IT technologies, digitalization of RMG trade would enable the country to enhance further apparel exports.
Only few years ago, the Toyota of Japan used to make a car in three months. But, now with the adoption of IT Toyota produces a car in only 17 minutes. Some competitors of Toyota which could not digitalize promptly have lagged behind in the race of automobiles trade. Taking it in view, Bangladeshi entrepreneurs have taken the expansion of IT sectors to reinvigorate this sector that is considered the number one foreign exchange earners of Bangladesh.
Atiqul expressed the hope that the RMG sector would have a complete data base soon and other IT networks that would help the nation fetch US$ 50 billion annually by 2021.
Necessary legal frameworks have been created to introduce e-commerce and e-payment in limited areas to deliver the services in an easier, transparent and accountable manner. Measures have also been taken to introduce electronic money order and mobile cash card. With the beginning of mobile banking service, more than 1.5 crore clients have been receiving the service, the people involved in the digitalisation process said.
In addition to this, the departments concerned have been trying to give it an institutional shape in order to carry out procurement activities of the government online by taking advantage of Bangladesh's link with second submarine cable. This has eased the coverage of internet connection to more than 100 upazilas across the country. Meanwhile, the telecommunication customer strength has reached about 9 crore 90 lakh. With the increase of internet users to 3 crore 50 lakh, tele-density and internet-density have widened to 64.6 per cent and 19.9 per cent respectively. During the current financial year, employment opportunities have been created through imparting freelancing training to 13, 600 people, sources added.
Awami League in its 2008 election manifesto had committed to introduce Digital Bangladesh. The programme encouraged the new generation while people from all strata in society also appreciated its positive aspect.