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Bangladesh wants China as large partner to make digital dreams come true: Minister

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-12-14 13:24

DHAKA — Bangladesh wants China to be its major partner to make the country's digital dreams come true, Bangladeshi Information and Communication Technology (ICT) State Minister Zunaid Ahmed Palak said.

In an exclusive interview with Xinhua recently, the minister said, "For a long, long time we have been time-tested friends and in the field of ICT we are grateful to China and the Chinese government for helping us by providing all kinds of technical and financial support for building our infrastructure."

Palak went on to explain that Bangladesh has successfully completed its Info Sarker-2 project.

The Bangladeshi government, in collaboration with Chinese companies, implemented the country's largest-ever ICT project which brought nearly 20,000 government offices across the country under nationwide connectivity.

Bangladesh's highest economic policy-making body on July 3, 2013, approved the China-financed 13.33 billion taka ($160 million) project titled "National ICT Infra-Network for Bangladesh Government Phase-II (Info-Sarker)."

Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina declared her vision to build a digital Bangladesh by 2021.

Project Director of Info-Sarkar, Saiful Islam, had earlier told Xinhua that "the Info-Sarker project is the main project for the building of a digital Bangladesh. And this is the largest project of the ICT division as well as for the building of a digital Bangladesh."

Under the project, Palak told Xinhua that Bangladesh has been able to connect all the districts and sub-districts with high-speed optic connectivity among the 18,000 government offices.

"We have been able to setup our first TR4 data Center under the line of credit kindly extended from China," saod Palak.

He said during Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to Bangladesh in October 2016, he and Prime Minister Hasina laid stones together to symbolize the union between the two countries in building the TR4 data center.

"And we also have some other ongoing projects like Info-Sarker-3. Under this project we are connecting all the union parishad, which is the lowest tier of the local government services delivery platform."

"So we are really grateful to the government of China and China Exim bank for allocating the financial support and also for supporting us in building a digital Bangladesh."

He added that human resources have been developed with the support of the Chinese government and that an MoU has been signed between the two countries on how they can combat cyber attacks.

"So, now we are planning to set up our own digital forensic lab."

Bangladesh is the perfect ICT investment destination for the world, the minister said.

"I hope all the Chinese companies will benefit from their investments in Bangladesh," he said.

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