The Bangladeshi government will insist on Facebook opening office in Dhaka when it meets Facebook officials in September, Post and Telecom Minister Mustafa Jabbar said on August 28, the Daily Star reported. It will also insist on getting a VAT (value added tax) registration from the National Board of Revenue (NBR).

As par Jabbar, Facebook has approached the government to sort out some “burning issues”. The meeting will happen between September 21 and 23, and a committee has been formed to prepare for it. They will discuss issues related to security, tax, data privacy and national security at the meeting.

The meeting will be attended by Facebook’s Bangla team and law enforcement officials.

Jabbar said, “Bangladesh has become a very important market for Facebook as already three crore [30 million] users are connected with the platform and they are earning huge amounts from here.” As per the report, the size of the digital advertisement market in Bangladesh is about Tk 2,000 crore [₹1,700 crore] and Facebook accounts for half of it.

Social media giants not paying VAT despite directive

In June 2019, the NBR had directed social media and foreign satellite television channels, with no offices in the country, to pay 15% VAT through a VAT agent from FY2019-20, or set up an office in Bangladesh. However, in the two months since the directive was passed, the social media companies have not taken any action.