Handing IT Out

Sri Lanka has set up a US$ 5.2 mn fund to assist the island’s fledgling ICT sector, in hopes of harnessing the industry’s potential for future economic growth. Sri Lanka has set up a US$ 5.2 mn fund to assist the island’s fledgling ICT sector, in hopes of harnessing the industry’s potential for future economic growth. Private sector firms can tap the ICT Capacity Building Program (ICBP) for grant of up to US$ 35,000 for ICT HR development, industry promotion, market creation and creating support systems.

ICT Agency chief Manju Hathotuwa said the ICBP fund would be increased further to support other areas and increase the number of beneficiaries.

The World Bank sponsored grants are expected to help the sector post US$ 1 bn in industry billings by 2012, up from the estimated US$ 100 mn now.

ICT Agency officials say to achieve the 2012 target the industry needs the right mix of industry coordination, support from academia and establishment of a policy environment conducive to ICT growth.

Got Potential

Agency officials say in the rapidly evolving global arena of ICT, competitive pressures are driving large corporates to seek high-quality