A few years ago, the thought of exporting skilled IT engineers to Japan—a country that gave birth to some of the worlds most renowned and respected tech brands—seemed like a far-fetched idea.
Not now though, as had agreed the gathering on March 4 at the BCC Auditorium in ICT Tower. Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC) in association with JICA Bangladesh Office organized a certificate awarding ceremony for the first Batch of trainees of the ‘Bangladesh-Japan ICT Engineers’ Training Program (B-JET)’ there on that day.
State Minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak, MP graced the ceremony as the chief guest and the Ambassador of Japan in Bangladesh Hiroyasu Izumi was the special guest. JICA Chief Representative Takatoshi Nishikata and Executive Director of BCC were also present on the occasion.
Zunaid Ahmed Palak in his speech congratulated the trainees and deeply encouraged the IT engineers and companies to take this as a great opportunity to increase export market of Bangladesh.
He said that Bangladesh started enjoying a huge demographic dividend where more than 65 percent of population is of working age. On the other hand, Japan, the third largest economy of the world, is experiencing a shrinking manpower.
“Interestingly Japan is the third most attractive IT market in the world, next to America and Europe. Our Government envisioned building Digital Bangladesh by 2021 and setting a target for 2 million employments in IT/ITES sector and 5 billion USD exports from IT/ITES sector.”
“We are eager to take the advantage by providing the trained IT engineers to Japanese market in a appropriate manner. Bangladesh will take the opportunity to fill this gap with the skillful IT engineers for building Digital Bangladesh.”
Palak also said competitive wages, low energy prices and cheap production cost resulted Bangladesh the top investment destination for Japanese companies, according to the last several surveys being conducted by The Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO).
They conducted the survey on more than 20 countries in Asia and Oceania, which found Bangladesh as the most lucrative investment destination both in manufacturing and non-manufacturing sectors.
“So, I solicit personal cooperation to the ambassador of Japan in Bangladesh, His Excellency, Mr Hiroyasu Izumi and Chief Representative of (JICA), Mr Takatoshi Nishikata to increase the investment of Japan in the ICT sector of Bangladesh,” Palak said.
Palak said Bangladesh currently has initiated the second phase of ITEE project where we intend to address the issue of shortage of IT skilled manpower in Japan’s IT market.
“The project is targeted to help us develop IT manpower in such a way so that it fulfills the requirement of the Japanese market and also the requirement of Bangladesh. I believe that the trained manpower under this project will act as a Bangladeshi envoy to Japan,” said Hiroyasu Izumi, ambassador of Japan in Bangladesh.Chief Representative of JICA, Takatoshi Nishikata said that Japan will face huge crisis for IT Engineers in the upcoming days. “So, we are collaborating with the BCC to train the talented Bangladeshi youth so that they can cope up with the Japanese market. I hope the participants of B-JET will lead the IT sector of Japan in near future.”
It is to be noted that Japan is an important export destination for Bangladesh for the IT and ITES sector. Government of Bangladesh is taking a number of initiatives to increase the IT export market.
There is a growing trend of increasing demand among the Japanese companies for IT human resources and IT related services. The access to the Japanese market heavily depends on Japanese language and understanding of business culture and high quality services.
B-JET is a three year long pilot training program under the JICA assisted project “The Project for Skills Development of IT Engineers Targeting Japanese Market” with BCC. Through B-JET program, each year around 120 IT Engineers will be given training on Japanese Language, Japanese Business Manner and ITEE (IT Engineer Examination) related subjects to provide them the opportunity to work with Japanese companies.
Each course is three month long and the first batch of 20 trainees who were selected through rigorous procedure completed the program and secured placement in Japanese companies in Japan. The second batch of 40 selected trainees will start their training in March. These trained engineers will be a good source of human resource for the Japanese as well as Bangladeshi companies who want to expand business relationship with Japan. ■