A few months back Telenor Group asked whether we would be interested in working up a document that would focus thinking on Digital Bangladesh and identify priority areas for cooperative action by different agencies of government and the private sector, including in particular Telenor’s Bangladesh affiliate Grameenphone. We did not have to think much because this was an opportunity to crystallize seven years of ongoing discussions and help advance the process of accelerated implementation.
The government should relax the rules to attract more foreign firms to invest in Bangladesh, said a report developed by Grameenphone and its major shareholder Telenor Group with the support of LIRNEasia.
The government should also form a well-planned spectrum roadmap and introduce tech neutrality to boost the telecom, IT and IT-enabled services, the report suggested.
The report, Realising Digital Bangladesh, also advised the government to liberalise international gateways to allow one-stop shopping services and ensure the quality of services.
The document that we prepared should be put up on the web by Grameenphone shortly. Obviously a document prepared by those outside government cannot be the final word. But it can focus thinking and accelerate fruitful collaboration.
The slideset used in introducing the document is here.
Relaxing rules to attract foreign investment should pay attention to a set of variables: 1. Cost reduction by taking advantage from economies of scale and scope, 2. Increasing willingness to pay and reducing cost of production by taking advantage from dynamic efficiency caused by innovation, 3. Minimization of deadweight loss to ensure production of socially optimal quantity, and 4. Minimization of gaining market power to convert surpluses of consumers and competitors to profit of dominant operator/s. I am intrigued to know about to what extent analysis has been done and trade off among these variables been done to recommend policies for making sure that both consumer and producer surpluses increase through strengthening of market forces. I look forward to sharing some insights from author/s of this important study…