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Bangladesh may lose 6.0pc of potential trade due to restrictive data policies

Imran Khan

Oct 18, 2007

Bangladesh may lose 6.0pc of potential trade due to restrictive data policies​

FE ONLINE REPORT | Published: December 12, 2022 11:55:18 | Updated: December 12, 2022 18:23:31

Bangladesh may lose 6.0pc of potential trade due to restrictive data policies

Bangladesh is likely to face 6 per cent loss in its potential trade volume in five years due to ‘data localisation’ policies, according to the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), a leading think tank for science and technology policy based in Washington.
The country’s existing and proposed ‘data localisation’ policies will prevent businesses from transmitting data internationally, added the ITIF’s economic impact analysis released on Monday.
Examples of these data localisation policies in Bangladesh include the Telecommunications Law, the Bank Company Act, the draft Data Protection Act, and the draft National Cloud Policy.
ITIF’s study also examines the economic impact of data localization policies in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Vietnam.
“All five economies are projected to incur significantly higher import prices, which will raise the cost of doing business and reduce trade,” said the report titled ‘The Cost of Data Localization Policies in Bangladesh, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Vietnam.’
ITIF also warns that policymakers need to shift course, or they will risk undermining their respective economies in the global race for digital development.
“Many policymakers mistakenly assume that the best way to pursue growth in the digital economy is to enact laws that control data by forcing firms to store it locally. But the value of data comes from using, not storing it,” said Nigel Cory, associate director of trade policy at ITIF, who is also an author of the report.
“Policymakers should focus on making data-related laws interoperable to support data flows and support digital development by investing in a skilled workforce and robust infrastructure,” he argued in the press statement in this connection.
“Unfortunately, in several cases, Bangladesh has succumbed to the false allure of data localisation,” Cory continued. “That will prove to be a costly mistake for the economy because it raises prices and squeezes the supply of digital tools that firms need to do business.”
Among the five economies in ITIF’s report, Vietnam is projected to suffer the steepest decline in potential trade volume after five years due to restrictive data localisation measures, followed by Bangladesh, Indonesia, Hong Kong, and Pakistan.


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