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Saturday, August 29, 2015, Bhadra 14, 1422 BS, Zilqad 13, 1436 Hijr

Freelancers exported software  worth Tk 960 last FY
Shamsul Huda
Published :Saturday, 29 August, 2015,  Time : 12:00 AM  View Count : 103
Without any government support freelance software engineers are outsourcing jobs from the world's big corporate houses.
Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS),  software developers' common platform estimates the freelancers have exported worth Tk 960 crore products last year.
According to sources the growing freelancers' earnings may exceed the official export figure for software.
Official statistics say in the government book the export earnings of software products for the fiscal year 2013-14 (FY14) was Tk1000 crore software and with a 6.5 per cent growth in the fiscal 2014-15 it was Tk1060 crore.
The Basis data say more than 100 thousands freelance outsourcing firms earned Tk960 crore income in the outgoing fiscal year which is nearly  that of the official figure and it is likely to exceed in the current fiscal. The government's support is streamlining the fast growing and scattered freelance software engineers across the country.
The Information and Communication Technology Division has taken a scheme to train freelancers who outsource jobs from the world's renowned corporate houses.
A senior official told this correspondent that  they have so far trained more than 30,000 freelancers at district levels across the country and the scheme is going on.
Manzur Mahmood, Chief Executive Officer of the DataSoft Limited said freelancers require infrastructural supports like all facility based high-tech Park and internet connection at cheaper costs as this is the main raw materials for developing software.
Basis Secretary Hashim Ahmed said if the freelancers' software exports are registered in the book it may exceed the official figures of exporting software.
He said it is a fact that where freelancers export earnings are increasing every year in the mean time official export growth for software is reducing in compare with the previous years.
He said both the freelancers and the exporters maintaining official procedures are together exported about $250 million.
As per Basis data software export official software export growth is not increasing as per expectation.
The Export promotion bureau statistics shows software export growth was happening at 50 per cent during the FY09 to FY12 but the growth started declining.
When asked about declining growth an office bearer said due to increasing domestic demand many firms are busy with local market. He said behind declining export growth the main problems are lack of economic diplomacy, infrastructure development and financial assistance.
He said in the growing export market Bangladesh is not actively branding its capacity of developing world standard software. A free-lance developer requesting unanimous said many big houses are taking the free-lance outsourcing opportunities as they do not want to show their income.
An official in the Ministry of Science and Technology's ICT division said they are trying to bring the free lancers in a specific system so that they may contribute more to the national economy.
He said in the training course that the government is offering is getting good response from the free lancers across the country and already some have registered their names with the government.

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