Bangladesh will insist on Facebook opening an office in Dhaka and getting a VAT registration from the National Board of Revenue when the government meets with officials of the social media giant in September, Post and Telecom Minister Mustafa Jabbar said yesterday.
Facebook has approached the government for a meeting to sort out some burning issues, he said at a meeting of the Cyber Threat Detection and Response project of the Department of Telecom.
A committee has been formed to do some homework before the meeting, which would be between September 21 and 23.
After the meeting the telecom minister told The Daily Star that they will discuss security and tax-related issues at the meeting and ask them to set up an office in Dhaka as soon as possible.
“Bangladesh has become a very important market for Facebook as already three crore users are connected with the platform and they are earning huge amounts from here.”
Facebook’s Bangla language team will also be present at the meeting, Jabbar said, adding that law enforcement officials would be asked to attend too.
Matters pertaining to data privacy and national security will also be discussed at the meeting.
In the last budget the NBR has stipulated that all social media platforms set up an office in Bangladesh or appoint an agent to ensure 15 percent value-added tax and 4 percent advance income tax are paid to its coffer.
The size of the digital advertisement market in Bangladesh is about Tk 2,000 crore and almost half of it goes to Facebook, according to market sources.