Japanese ambassador to Bangladesh ITO Naoki, Bangladeshi ambassador to Japan Shahabuddin Ahmed, senior secretary of ICT Division NM Zeaul Alam spoke at the inauguration.

Besides, managing director of Startup Bangladesh Sami Ahmed, project director of Enhancing Digital Government and Economy Mohammed Mehedi Hassan, country representative of Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) Yuji Ando and president of BASIS Russell T Ahmed addressed the event as well.

State minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak sought cooperation from Japan to turn Bangladesh into a smart nation by 2041. 

"Japan is one of the significant development partners of Bangladesh and has been providing assistance in different sectors of the country," he said hoping that they would also provide help in technological sectors as well.

Emphasising on technical and technological education and training Palak proposed for a joint programme on skill development and called upon JETRO to come up with initiatives in this regard.

"The virtual desk-Bangladesh IT Connect Portal-Japan will act as a catalyst to enhance the bilateral trade relations in the BPO and technology sector," Palak said.

He further added that the portal will benefit both Japan and Bangladesh by opening up the technology and investment partnership opportunities between the countries.

Expressing optimism for Japanese investments ITO Naoki said, Bangladesh's ICT sector is going to emerge as a potential sector for Japanese investments in the days to come. 

Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has already been providing help to develop Smart Bangladesh Master Plan, he said, adding that the cooperation for the Smart Bangladesh initiative would continue in future.

Palak said Bangladesh has been maintaining an enduring friendship with Japan over the course of 51 years from the Liberation War of Bangladesh and the relationship will be strengthened further in the coming days.

The World Bank financed Enhancing Digital Government and Economy (EDGE) Project of Bangladesh Computer Council under ICT Division along with the Embassy of Bangladesh in Japan jointly developed the `Bangladesh IT Connect Portal-Japan' to establish Business to Business (B2B) IT Connectivity Hub.

This will play a role in bringing business connections of Japanese IT market with the country's IT companies, arranging appointment with the Embassy, bringing investment from Japanese market.

Necessary information in this regard will be found on the website www. jp.itconnect.gov.bd. More than 70 IT exporting companies along with 42 startups from Bangladesh are working in Japan and considering Japan as their potential market.