The Information and Communication Technology Division and the Bangladesh Embassy in the Netherlands launched an online helpdesk "Bangladesh IT Connect Portal-Netherlands" Saturday aiming at connecting investors and partners, exploring business and attracting foreign direct investment. Zunaid Ahmed Palak, state minister for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Division, inaugurated the digital desk virtually commemorating the golden jubilee of bilateral relations between Bangladesh and the Netherlands. "The portal will serve as a catalyst for building business relationships with IT companies in the two countries as we look at a $5 billion IT export target by 2025," Palak said. He said trade and investment between the Netherlands and Bangladesh are expanding. Bangladesh's Ambassador to the Netherlands M Riaz Hamidullah moderated the virtual programme. IT expert Sami Ahmed highlighted various aspects of preparation and initiatives of the digital economy of Bangladesh. He said profiles of around 70 IT firms have been linked to the portal that are already globally acclaimed, especially in the Netherlands for software export and services. In terms of IT, the Netherlands is Bangladesh's 4th largest source of foreign direct investment and the 5th largest export destination. "In the 2018-2019 fiscal year, Bangladesh received around $803 million investment from the country including BM Energy (BD) Ltd $22 million, ACI $12.3 million and Omera $4.09 million," said Sami Ahmed. The export volume of ICT services in 2020 was $1.3 billion. Of the total ICT export, $500 million was made in software and services, $400 million in business process outsourcing, $300 million in freelancing and $100 million in hardware, network services and others.