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Contributions of BASIS to the development of the ICT Sector

Contributions of BASIS to the development of the ICT Sector

Bangladesh Association of Software & Information Services, BASIS, has started its onward journey with only 18 charter members in 1997. Being the national trade body for the software and IT-enabled services industry of Bangladesh, BASIS has been playing a pivotal role to develop a vibrant and sustainable industry since its inception. Today BASIS contains around 1700 members and the membership growth is significantly exponential. BASIS achieves a pioneering position that leads it to advocates policy formation, conduct various programs and activities towards the overall development of this sector.

BASIS is very much aligned with the Digital Bangladesh vision (Vision2021) of the government. In addition to digitization and automation in the domestic market, BASIS has been actively contributing towards achieving the export target of the government i.e. US$ 5 billion by 2024. Considering the national interest and importance of the Software & ITES sector importance of this sector, the Ministry of Commerce has made BASIS membership mandatory for the software companies which are operating in Bangladesh through a gazette notification. In the last 24 years, BASIS has been able to create its positioning and brand value within the country and beyond. Numerous national and international initiatives have been organized and participated by BASIS. BASIS SOFTEXPO is one of the mega events of BASIS held annually since 2004.

Over the period, BASIS Softexpo has become Asia’s largest technology congress in the private sector and a reputed business platform for Bangladesh IT/ITES companies. Alongside, BASIS organizes plentiful awards; i.e. BASIS Outsourcing Award, BASIS National ICT Award, e-Commerce Week, Internet Week, Code-Warrior Challenge, NASA Space Apps Challenge, etc. all of these events and activities and widely known and similarly popular. In addition to that, BASIS played a prominent role in organizing “Digital World”, the largest ICT exposition of the country being organized jointly by the ICT Division & BASIS as a Public-Private Partnership initiative. “Connecting Startups Bangladesh” is also another initiative of the Bangladesh Hi-tech Park Authority which was successfully organized by BASIS in 2016. Another milestone initiative is establishing BASIS Institute of Technology & Management Limited (BITM). To address the skill gap of HR in the industry, BITM was established in 2007. BITM is a vehicle by which every IT professional can engage and contribute to education and professional advancement.

All the training materials of BITM are designed and reviewed by the industry experts and practitioners based on the industry's needs. BASIS has played a significant role in formulating national-level Policies, Acts, and Laws which includes National ICT Policy 2009 (revised in 2018), Bangladesh Outsourcing Policy, Cyber Security Act, Digital Commerce Policy, Made in Bangladesh policy, EEF/ESF policy, PPR, Knowledge Worker Law, IPR Law, Export and Import Policy and the like. Besides, in response to the requests from BASIS NBR declared corporate tax exemption for Software/ITES companies in phases from 2011 which is valid up to 30th June 2024. On the other hand, Bangladesh Bank has extended its support in increasing the limit of International credit from US$ 10,000 to the US $ 40,000 for IT-related purchases. Bangladesh Bank also introduced two-factor authentication for online transactions. Especially Bangladesh Bank introduced 10% cash incentives on the export earning from software & ITES since 2018 and so far 200+ BASIS member companies received cash incentives.

During the last 24 years, BASIS has participated in the most popular international IT expositions, especially in COMDEX and Outsource World in the USA; CeBIT Germany, Australia & Thailand; SODEC and JAPAN IT Week in Japan; GITEX Technology Week in Dubai; Easyfair Denmark & Sweden; INDIA SOFT & Global Exhibition on Services (GES) in India, WAN-IFRA Germany. BASIS also organized US-Bangladesh Tech Investment Summit and Europe-Bangladesh Tech Investment summit earlier to attract foreign investment in the Bangladesh Technology Sector followed by business-to-business (B2B) meetings. BASIS tried to explore the international market with the slogan “Bangladesh NEXT- your next IT destination”. Besides, BASIS successfully implemented a good number of donor-funded projects like the IT-Upgrade Project with the support of the European Commission, Bangladesh Information Technology Management Program (BITMAP) phase I and II with the support of the Embassy of Denmark, IT Outsourcing Export Coaching Program(ITO-ECP) and Netherland Trust Fund (NTF) II and III project with the support of CBI Netherlands and ITC for export capacity building, SheTrades for capacity building of women entrepreneurs with the support of UKAID and Skill Enhancement and Investment Program (SEIP) for the training of human resources with the support of ADB and Ministry of Finance and policy advocacy program with the support of Asia Foundation. In terms of building relationships and partnerships with both the Government and the Private-Sector, BASIS has remarkable contributions and initiatives.

For example, BASIS-A2I Joint Project for National Portal Framework Development was one of the significant initiatives. BASIS also signed MoU with a good number of national and international organizations. Most importantly with KATALYST, The Swiss Import Promotion Program (SIPPO), World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI), Prime Bank, Brac Bank, PUM Netherlands Senior, Women chamber, CanCham and more than 50 other MoU with various service providers on a special discounted price for BASIS members.In 1999, BASIS became a member of FBCCI in the "CLASS A" category and earned the status of securing a position of a nominated Director through a Gazzette published on 5th December 2017. BASIS has published several quality publications including BASIS member directory, Software, and IT Services catalog, Exporter Director, expo brochure, HR Handbook, and the like on a regular interval. BASIS also published a monthly newsletter earlier. BASIS became the management agency of the country's first and only "ICT Incubator," offering services and managing the ICT Incubator's various concerns which have been declared as the country’s first Software Technology Park (STP-1) by the then ICT Minister in 2011. It received one of the prestigious awards, the “FBCCI-STANDARD Chartered SME Award 2009”. This trade body was recognized as the “Best SME facilitator organization” for contributing outstandingly to SME development and & `Centenary Award’ by MCCI for pioneering role in ICT development through promoting the Software & IT services industry in 2014. BASIS achieved the ISO 9001 Certificate in 2016. In 2015, BASIS became the APICTA member 2015 and since then BASIS has been achieving the APICTA Awards 2017. BASIS also envisioned a strategy named “One Bangladesh”. To create 1 million jobs for ICT Professionals, to increase 1 crore internet users per year, to earn the US $ 1 billion, and to contribute 1% to the GDP were the four major goals of this strategy.

To enrich the IT industry by creating IT professionals BASIS formed the BASIS Students’ Forum and to encourage women professionals ICT BASIS Women's Forum was also formed. BASIS has made almost all member services digital and the BASIS Secretariat has been strengthened to ensure effective and efficient service delivery. BASIS members can easily may payments online using a mobile app or BASIS Website. Last but not the least, BASIS is quite concerned with Corporate Social Responsibility. As a part of CSR, BASIS took the initiative to ensure the proper treatment of a bright freelancer Jahid. Also, BASIS contributed to the Hon'ble Prime Minister's Relief and Welfare Fund to deal with the corona crisis. In addition to that BASIS extended its financial contributions to the Rana Plaza survivors and occasionally distribute warm clothes for the distressed people in the winter season. BASIS has been relentlessly working for making a vibrant and business-friendly environment for the software & ITES industry of the country and is yet to go a long way ahead. STATE MINISTER

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