MUSCAT: Fundamentalist forces, insurgents and much more; a country reeling under the pressure of all those negative elements that acted as stumbling blocks in development.
That was the image Bangladesh, earlier also known as East Pakistan, had till a couple of decades back. However, it is on the path of an image makeover with technological innovation in industrial as well as other fronts, attracting more investments and thus making its presence felt everywhere and establishing its economic growth globally.
The latest technological innovation is the introduction of e-gates for the passengers who have e-passports, and this way they can complete their immigration within a short time at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka.
While there are 12 e-gates installed in the departure area, and three at the arrival area of Dhaka airport, six e-gates each have been set up at Shah Amanat International Airport in Chattogram and Osmani International Airport in Sylhet, according to the authorities, who want to install more such automated border control system to save time on the immigration process for the passengers.
The government has a plan to set up 50 e-gates gradually at all the airports and land ports across the country under the ‘E-Passport and Automated Border Control Management Project’, according to the officials.
Bangladesh is the first country in South Asia to introduce the e-gate project, and this way a passenger can complete the entire immigration process in 18 seconds. According to Mokabbir Hossain, secretary of the Security Services Division under the home ministry, the e-gates will open automatically for the people with e-passports and they do not have to stand in a queue.
This not only saves passengers time but also enhances the acceptability of Bangladeshi passports abroad, which could also give a fillip to the country’s technological advancement, thus helping its business and industrial landscape.
This is not the only technological innovation that Bangladesh has introduced in the country in recent times. There were many cases of fire mishaps reported from the country, following which the Bangladesh Fire Service deployed fire-fighting robots and it was successfully used in dousing a major fire at Sitakunda, in Chittagong, where dozens of people were burnt to death in a fire.
As we all know, Bangladesh is famous for its thriving garment industry, but the frequent cases of fire had affected the reputation and there was the impression that the labourers are not safe in this burgeoning economy in South Asia. With this intervention, the authorities want to change that image.
In recent times, the government has strengthened its focus on the industrial sector in the country, which has boosted its domestic economy as well. What helped the readymade garments industry in Bangladesh is that foreign buyers prefer importing from there and see the country as a good sourcing destination in terms of economy and quality. This industry thrived in Bangladesh at a time when China’s dominance in the apparel export market started declining, and they were able to utilize the new opportunity.
The country is now exploring the possibility of e-Commerce to further strengthen its economic backbone, and to unlock the true potential of the country’s e-commerce market, trends and practices, Bangladesh Brand Forum had recently organised the country’s first-ever Bangladesh E-commerce Summit. This aims to revitalize the e-commerce industry, which is now emerging.
While Bangladesh was known for exporting its manpower, it was successful in developing its own industries and providing employment to many, to become one of the world’s fastest-growing economies in less than five decades of its existence, which is not a minor achievement. No doubt, it is a textbook example of writing its success story fighting the odds, and its neighbouring nations have a lesson to learn from this.