Around 80 percent of the Tk 1,500 crore worth of gadgets that are sold in the country every year will come from the local manufacturers by 2021, ICT State Minister Zunaid Ahmed Palak said yesterday.
“We are among the top 10 countries with the highest per capita cell-phone use in the world, but in terms of manufacturing we have no position.”
The government has taken this issue seriously and that is why it has reduced import tax to 1 percent for all mobile and laptop manufacturing equipment, he said.
Palak spoke at a three-day smartphone and tab expo inaugurated by newly appointed Telecom and ICT Minister Mustafa Jabbar at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka.
Jabbar said the government is giving more importance to smartphones compared to computers and laptops.
“We cannot provide all with laptops and computers but we can ensure smartphones for all. That's why the government is working to bring all government services to their fingertips.”
He said his responsibility is to build an internet superhighway and he would try along with Palak to ensure that the private sector performs its responsibility in ensuring digitisation through local manufacturing of handsets.
Walton has already started assembling smartphones and a few others are to follow suit, said Jabbar, adding that: “I will also inaugurate the country's first computer plant next week.”
Jabbar also emphasised developing more local mobile contents, especially on entertainment and gaming.
Palak said the government has invited global companies to come to Bangladesh as it wants to see more of their production facilities here.
He said the country reaped a lot of success in the software sector and the time is ripe for the same in hardware.
The expo is being organised for the ninth time by event management firm Expo Maker.
All the top brands of the country are taking part in the show while some are even launching new gadgets and offering discounts, organisers said.
Currently, only 30 percent of the cellphones in use in Bangladesh are smartphones, and there are another seven crore potential customers, industry insiders said.
Samsung, TECNO Mobile, Xiaomi, WE, Huawei, LG Mobile, Oppo, Symphony, LAVA, Nokia, Lenovo, Asus ZenFone, Winmax Mobile, Micromax, DCL, DTEL, ADATA, kiksha.com, Ajkerdeal.com and bijoydigital.com are participating in the show.
Online newspaper techshohor.com is the title sponsor of the expo.