Peter Corbishley has just returned from a trip to Dhaka, Bangladesh, where the Koreans are also active.
In 2009 South Korea is putting some $320m investment into the Bangladeshi economy and nearly 160 companies are working there, including a third of all companies operating in the export processing zones. In addition in 2006, for example, KOICA spent 0.7% of its total budget on Information & Communication Technology (ICT) in Bangladesh, amounting to $1,322,000.
What I did, however, was visit the Bangladesh-Korea Technical Training Centre where in 2008 The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) completed a $4,000,000 rebuilding and re-equipping of the Centre, including providing curricula (in English) and one of three CNC in the country. This not the only KOICA intervention. I also came across a lone Korean volunteer at the Bangladesh-German Technical Institute, but the Germans after starting the Centre back in the 1960’s then left – although their machines seem still to be working. And there is a also a Bangladesh-Korea Information Access Centre (IAC) in Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) as well as Bangladesh-Korea ICT Training Centre for Education (BKITCE). The latter funded in pursuit of the rapidly growing ICT sector in Bangladesh, although sadly I didn’t have the time to visit these.
However, in comparison with the other technical institutes I visited the Korean are appreciated for the thoroughness of the interventions I saw, as well as for the continuing presence of Korean volunteers let alone the ongoing training – and even jobs – for Bangladeshis in Korea. And I even had lunch in a Korean restaurant with a Bangladeshi who had studied at Ewha.