Connect with us

Corporate

Emerging Economies Offer Great Opportunities, Say Experts

Published

on

Emerging Economies Offer Great Opportunities, Say Experts

JCI North organized a seminar titled “Development Opportunities in Emerging Economies and Roadmap for Scholarship and Funding” on 25 May 2024 at the EMK Center, Gulshan, Dhaka. The event featured Dr. Laura E. Kodres, former IMF Assistant Director and Associate at the Global Center for Finance and Policy, as the main presenter.

The seminar also included insights from several distinguished discussants: Prof. Dr. Abdul Hannan Chowdhury, former dean of the School of Business and Economics (SBE) at North South University (NSU); Ifty Islam, Chairman of Asian Tiger Capital Partners; M. Shaifur Rahman Mazumdar, FCA, FCMA, Managing Director of Chittagong Stock Exchange PLC (CSE); M.S. Siddiqui, Chief Executive Officer of Bangla Chemicals and Legal Economist; and Md. Nazmul Hasan, Associate Professor at the University of Dhaka. Md. Minhaz Bin Salim, a member of the Board of Directors of JCI Dhaka North, moderated the event.

Dr. Kodres highlighted the crucial role of central banks in maintaining investor trust through prudent monetary policies. She emphasized that central banks ensure financial stability by overseeing commercial banks, safeguarding depositors’ funds, and facilitating productive lending. In a globalized world, the central bank’s mandate extends to maintaining the value of money, thus fostering financial stability when depositors receive their funds back with interest. She also touched on topics such as inflation, infrastructure, stock markets, and the private sector, noting the high potential in emerging economies if opportunities are understood and utilized effectively.

Prof. Dr. Abdul Hannan Chowdhury stressed the importance of creating a supportive environment for entrepreneurs, stating, “The country has yet to create an atmosphere where entrepreneurs can easily start their businesses. Ease of doing business is crucial for Bangladesh to support entrepreneurs.”

Ifty Islam discussed the potential of financial technology to attract more investors with diverse products at low costs, leading to significant returns. He envisioned a future where digital wallets could transform ordinary citizens into active investors in the stock market, thus increasing the number of trading accounts.

M. Shaifur Rahman Mazumdar emphasized the need for comprehensive policy support in the capital market. He pointed out that policymakers need to address tax GDP issues and provide targeted policies for sectoral development, specifically in the capital market, to ensure robust regulatory structures.

M.S. Siddiqui addressed market manipulation issues, noting that many companies fail to pay dividends, which manipulators exploit. He highlighted the need for regulatory vigilance to prevent sudden, unjustified increases in share prices. He also critiqued the regressive policies affecting the SME sector despite its potential.

The seminar also featured a panel discussion moderated by Md. Minhaz Bin Salim, who presented a brief on the “Roadmap of Scholarship and Funding” to the guests. Experts underscored the impact of technology on Bangladesh’s financial sector, noting that proper technology use could enhance customer trust and increase investments.

The event attracted participants from reputed universities and organizations, with over 100 attendees joining via Zoom and in person. The seminar aimed to impart expert knowledge to newcomers, shaping the next generation of economic experts. The program concluded with a vote of thanks from JCI National President Imran Kadir.

Share this

Corporate

Inspira Hosts MSME Digital Security & Data Protection Dialogue

Published

on

Inspira Hosts MSME Digital Security & Data Protection Dialogue

Inspira Hosts Policy Dialogue on MSME Digital Security and Data Protection

Dhaka, June 9, 2024 – Inspira, in collaboration with USAID, DAI, and DCCP, successfully organized a Policy Dialogue addressing the digital security and data protection challenges faced by MSMEs. The event gathered industry leaders and government officials to deliberate on these critical issues.

Md Ziaul Haque Bhuiyan, Chief of Staff of ShopUp and former President of JCI Bangladesh, shared valuable insights during the dialogue. The event was graced by Md Shamsul Arefin, Secretary of the ICT Division, as the Chief Guest. Other notable attendees included Salahuddin Mahmud from the SME Foundation, Khalilur Rahman, Director General of BTRC, Abu Saed Kamruzzaman, Director General of NCSA, and Samira Zuberi Himika, Chairperson of Inspira.

Key Points Discussed:

Restricting Betting Services:

  • Issue: Online betting services are causing financial losses for many individuals.
  • Discussion: Implementing stricter regulations to limit access and protect users from financial harm.

 

Regulation of Grey Channel Devices:

  • Issue: Unauthorized smartphones and laptops with unmonitored apps are entering the market.
  • Discussion: Enhancing regulatory oversight to ensure visibility and security of imported electronic devices.

 

Data Storage Concerns with CCTV Cameras and VTS:

  • Issue: Sensitive data from CCTV cameras and Vehicle Tracking Systems is being stored overseas.
  • Discussion: Expanding BTRC’s regulatory scope to include these devices and ensure data security.

 

Digital Security Education:

  • Issue: There is a lack of awareness and education on digital security and data protection.
  • Discussion: Integrating these topics into the national education curriculum and enhancing public awareness through eCAB, BASIS, and media campaigns.

 

Government Officials Using Insecure Email:

  • Issue: The use of Gmail by government officials poses security risks.
  • Discussion: Promoting the use of secure, government-approved email services for official communication.

 

OTP Awareness Challenges:

  • Issue: Misunderstandings about OTP security are affecting delivery services.
  • Discussion: Educating the public on proper OTP usage to enhance security and service efficiency.

 

Policy on Digital Page Ownership:

  • Issue: There is a lack of clear policies on digital page ownership and management.
  • Discussion: Developing policies to protect content creators and regulate digital page ownership.

 

The Policy Dialogue underscored the necessity for comprehensive strategies and collaborative efforts to bolster digital security and data protection for MSMEs in Bangladesh. By addressing these issues, the event aimed to create a safer and more secure digital environment for businesses and individuals alike.

Share this
Continue Reading

Corporate

bKash Launches ‘Student Account’ to Foster Digital Financial Literacy

Published

on

bKash

For the first time in Bangladesh’s Mobile Financial Services (MFS) sector, bKash has introduced a ‘Student Account’ to prepare the younger generation for digital financial transactions and promote a cashless society. This new initiative targets teenagers aged 14 to below 18 years, allowing them to open an account linked to their parent’s bKash account.

Account Opening Requirements
To open a ‘Student Account,’ the following are required:

A digital birth certificate
An active bKash account number of either the mother or father
Parental consent
The initiative aligns with Bangladesh Bank’s directives to foster digital financial inclusion among the youth, supporting the nation’s move towards a smart economy.

Services Offered
The ‘Student Account’ is tailored to meet the needs of teenagers, offering services such as:

Payment of school and college fees
Daily small purchases
Mobile recharge
Money transfer
Bill payments
According to central bank regulations, the account can hold a maximum balance of Tk 30,000. Teens can transact up to Tk 5,000 per day and a maximum of Tk 25,000 per month. They can receive money through the Send Money service but cannot use Add Money or Cash In services, ensuring parental supervision.

Opening Process
To open a ‘Student Account,’ follow these steps:

Download the bKash app and tap on Login/Register.
Select the ‘Birth Certificate’ option after entering the mobile number.
Take a photo of the digital birth certificate and enter additional personal information.
Nominate a parent and confirm by entering their active bKash account number.
A verification code will be sent to the parent’s number, which must be entered within 48 hours.
Upon successful registration, the new account holder will receive a Tk 25 bonus, with an opportunity to earn an additional Tk 105 through specific transactions.

Parental Supervision
Parental consent is mandatory to open a ‘Student Account.’ Parents can monitor all transactions through the statement section of their bKash app.

Maj Gen Sheikh Md. Monirul Islam (retd), Chief External & Corporate Affairs Officer of bKash, stated, “In the future, all daily transactions will be cashless and an integral part of our lives. The sooner teens familiarize themselves with the digital payment ecosystem, the more proficient they will be in financial management. The ‘Student Account’ will be a milestone in the initiative of financial inclusion in the country.”

The younger generation, known for their adaptability to digital technologies like AI, VR, AR, Robotics, and Big Data, will benefit from secure, fast, and easy financial transactions through MFS. This initiative is expected to spark their interest in new technologies and contribute to creating a cashless digital payment ecosystem.

Share this
Continue Reading

Corporate

Budget Proposes Tax-Free Status for 19 ICT Sectors in 2024-25

Published

on

budget ict sector

In the proposed budget for the fiscal year 2024-25, Finance Minister Abul Hasan Mahmood Ali announced tax exemptions for 19 sectors within the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry. This initiative aims to support the government’s vision of creating a Smart Bangladesh by encouraging digital transformation across various domains.

The budget proposal was presented on Thursday, June 6, in the National Parliament, chaired by Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury and attended by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. This is the first budget presented by Abul Hasan Mahmood Ali as Finance Minister and marks the 53rd budget of the country, driven by the slogan “Commitment to Building a Happy, Prosperous, Developed, and Smart Bangladesh.”

Key ICT Sectors to Benefit from Tax Exemptions
Tax-Free ICT Sectors: The proposed tax exemptions cover a wide range of ICT activities, including the development and provision of advanced digital solutions. The sectors slated for tax relief include:

  • AI-Based Solution Development: Encouraging innovation in artificial intelligence applications.
  • Blockchain-Based Solution Development: Promoting the use of blockchain technology in various industries.
  • Robotics Process Outsourcing: Facilitating the outsourcing of robotic and automated processes.
  • Software as a Service (SaaS): Supporting the growth of cloud-based software services.
  • Cybersecurity Services: Enhancing the development of security solutions to protect digital assets.
  • Digital Data Analytics and Data Science: Boosting capabilities in data analysis and interpretation.
  • Mobile Application Development Services: Promoting the creation of mobile apps.
  • Software Development and Customization: Supporting bespoke software solutions.
  • Software Test Lab Services: Facilitating testing environments for software quality assurance.
  • Web Listing, Website Development, and Services: Encouraging web-based services and site development.
  • IT Support and Software Maintenance Services: Providing ongoing support and maintenance for software products.
  • Geographic Information Services: Promoting the use of GIS technology.
  • Digital Animation Development: Supporting the creation of digital animations.
  • Digital Graphics Design: Facilitating digital design services.
  • Digital Data Entry and Processing: Streamlining data entry and processing services.
  • E-Learning Platforms and E-Publication: Supporting online learning and digital publishing.
  • IT Freelancing: Encouraging freelance work in the IT sector.
  • Call Center Services: Promoting the outsourcing of customer support services.
  • Document Conversion, Imaging, and Digital Archiving: Supporting the digital conversion and archiving of documents.

Conditions for Tax Exemption: These sectors will be tax-exempt provided that they ensure cashless transactions for business operations. The goal is to modernize financial transactions and integrate digital payment systems, making business activities more efficient and transparent.

This initiative is part of a broader strategy to accelerate digital adoption and innovation in Bangladesh, ultimately aiming to transform the country into a leading digital economy.

Share this
Continue Reading