Although ahead, Bangladesh lags behind in digital knowledge
Most Asian economies are not yet ready for digital initiatives. Although the region is ahead in physical infrastructure, it is still far behind in terms of knowledge. But knowledge is the key capital in digital ventures.
According to the Asian Development Bank (ADB) report, Bangladesh is in a good position in terms of physical infrastructure, but lags behind in the complementary culture of digital initiatives.
ADB has developed eight indicators for the report. Among the eight indicators, Bangladesh scored the lowest on the Culture and Informal Institutions Index, at 2.1. It scored the highest in the physical infrastructure index, at 32.1. Bangladesh is lagging behind in terms of human capital.
The report titled ‘Asia’s Development Outlook’ states that not only Bangladesh, but almost all countries in the Asian region are lagging behind in the index of ‘Culture and Informal Institutions’. This means that the people of this region are negative about initiatives. In other words, people do not look favorably on initiatives regarding social status and career choices. The same applies to the people of Bangladesh.
In this case, ADB’s advice for development is to create public opinion or people’s ideas about the initiative. ADB believes that this can be done through education. If the local enterprise environment is underdeveloped, policy makers can undertake consultative activities, the report also states. Also, communication and networking between entrepreneurs can be created, as they can create startup associations or associations. That is, policymakers can thus create an enabling environment for digital initiatives through indirect intervention.
In the original article, ADB’s senior expert Su Chan Hong said that digital entrepreneurs can play a big role in Bangladesh’s economic growth in the coming days. For that, a world-class digital environment has to be created for digital entrepreneurs.
He observed that although Singapore has ensured a world-class business environment for digital business entrepreneurs, no one else in Asia has achieved that quality environment. He also said that the better the country creates an environment for IT entrepreneurs, the more advanced the country will be in terms of investment, employment and export markets.
How much did Bangladesh score in any index?
On the basis of the eight indicators that ADB has assessed the capacity of various economies in Asia to create digital enterprises are culture and informal institutions, formal institutions, regulations and taxes, market conditions, physical infrastructure, human capital, knowledge creation and distribution, financing, networking and cooperation, etc.
Among these, Bangladesh got the lowest score in the first index and the highest score in the fourth index, as mentioned earlier. Apart from this, Bangladesh got 10 in the second index, 7.8 in the third index, 8.5 in the fifth index, 14.5 in the sixth index, 20.1 in the seventh index and 14.6 in the eighth index.
Lack of digital literacy
Knowledge lag is one of the barriers to digital initiatives in Asia. The report said so. This has also been said in many other reports. Such information has emerged in the report entitled ‘The Mobile Economy’ of the Group Special Mobile Association (GSMA), a global organization of mobile phone operators.
It has been said that the lack of digital knowledge is one of the obstacles to the growth of mobile internet usage in Bangladesh. And those who are using it, are not able to do it properly. At the same time, the use of internet in Bangladesh is not reaching the desired level due to lack of awareness and lack of useful content in own language.