New landmark report reveals Telenor’s contribution to Asia’s digital future

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Telenor Group recently unveiled its first Global Impact Report quantifying the socioeconomic impact of the Group’s contributions in 13 markets across the world, including six in Asia with Bangladesh being one of its major Asian markets.

Developed by KPMG, the report includes a detailed study of the socioeconomic effects created by Telenor as one of the largest mobile operators in Bangladesh, its instrumental role in digitization of Bangladesh and other Asian economies, including India, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, and Thailand.

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The report reflects Telenor’s commitment towards the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, and specifically Goal 10: Reduced inequalities through digital inclusion. The Global Impact Report sheds light on how Telenor’s operations contribute towards this goal in Bangladesh.

The report captures socioeconomic effects in four key areas: Telenor’s contribution to macro-economic growth; the impact of its services on enabling the wider economy, including digital inclusion, financial inclusion, entrepreneurship development and improved gender equality; Telenor’s impacts in terms of sustainability in supply chain; and Telenor’s contribution in crisis situations.

Sigve Brekke, President and CEO of Telenor Group, said, “In Telenor we believe that connected societies are empowered societies. In a changing digital landscape, it is imperative that governments, businesses, and organisations work together to develop frameworks that stimulate growth and create shared value. This report aims to contribute to a constructive dialogue on how we can continue realizing the value and the opportunity of our digital future”.

Petter B. Furberg, CEO of Grameenphone, said, “It is encouraging to see how Grameenphone operations have made an significant impact in the social-economic growth of the people in Bangladesh as well as on the key financial indicators of the country. As Grameenphone shifts its focus on transforming the digital landscape in Bangladesh we expect to even greater social empowerment and development. Telenor has committed to its journey in Bangladesh and we at Grameenphone are proud to play a core part of this nation’s enlightenment.”

Gross Value Added: For the Bangladeshi economy, Telenor generated approximately $1,504m of GVA in 2015, which is equivalent to 0.8% of the total GVA generated by the Bangladesh economy and 30.8% of GVA generated by the ICT sector. In Asia, Telenor generated $9.6b GVA and $20.3b GVA across its 13 markets. The direct GVA generated by each full-time employee for Telenor in Bangladesh was $169,623 in 2015, almost 23 times higher than the national average labour productivity per full-time employee in Bangladesh ($7,492).

Employment:  In 2015, Grameenphone directly employed 4,728 full time equivalent staff in Bangladesh. Of these, 73.0% were male; 27.0% were female; and 99.7% were Bangladeshi nationals. In addition, an estimated additional 169,900 indirect jobs were generated through its supply chain in Bangladesh. For every job that Telenor generates directly in Bangladesh, an additional 61 are created in the wider Bangladeshi economy.

Investment: Over the last five years, Telenor has invested $1,176m in the Bangladesh economy, of which $248 million was invested in 2015. Telenor’s total global investment was $3.2b in 2015, including $3.1 billion of capital expenditure. $1.8 billion of the capital expenditures was attributed to Asia.

Fiscal Contribution: In 2014, Grameenphone made a direct fiscal contribution of $385 million to the Bangladeshi government through taxes and other regulatory payments. As a result of its activities, a further fiscal contribution of $255 million was generated in 2015. The total fiscal contribution of $640 million accounted for approximately 3.4% of total Bangladeshi Government tax revenues.

Digital Inclusion: As the largest telecom operator in Bangladesh, with a subscriptions base of over 56 million subscribers, Grameenphone’s services in Bangladesh between 2011 and 2015 contributed $24b to GDP growth. This is in addition to the GVA contribution outlined in the previous section.

Financial Inclusion: Grameenphone’s BillPay service in Bangladesh processed 8.8 million transactions in 2015 generating total value of $325m. Through its provision of mobile services in Bangladesh, Telenor enabled an estimated $8,496 million of mobile financial transactions in that year. In addition, as of 2016,Grameenphone enrolled 5.71 million customers in its free micro-insurance service Nirvoy Life Insurance in Bangladesh.

Gender: Through increased digital access for female subscribers in Bangladesh, Grameenphone has contributed $7,478 million to the Bangladesh GDP between 2011 and 2015.

Supply Chain Sustainability: It is estimated that through Telenor’s supply chain sustainability policy, 265,900 people are employed in Bangladesh through 1,006 suppliers which abide by Telenor’s supply chain principles. Globally, 2.1 million suppliers’ employees benefit from Telenor’s supply chain sustainability policy.

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