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9th SME fair in Dec

Published : 21 Nov 2021 10:15 PM

Ten banks, financial institutions and Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) will participate in the eight-day-long 9th National SME Product Fair- 2021 for the first time on December 5.

The SME foundation is going to organise the annual event after a break of 19-month to help the small entrepreneurs promote market hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is likely to open the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) fair virtually at Bangabandhu International Convention Centre.

The SME Foundation fixes the date of 9th National SME Fair 2021 to bring all categories of entrepreneurs, financiers, and trainers under one roof for the first time targeting to provide all necessary support to help them recover their businesses.

"It is good news that for the first time, 10 banks, financial institutions and Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) will participate in the fair that will help create close contacts among the entrepreneurs and financiers," said an official of SME Foundation.

He said the foundation held the last SME Fair in March 2020 which was quickly wrapped up after the first few cases of coronavirus infections were detected in the country. 

The foundation could also not hold the fair 2021 in its scheduled time in February or March this year due to the increase of coronavirus cases during the second wave of infection.

Officials said due to the long gap, entrepreneurs all over the country have been showing interest to participate in the fair, as they could not get scope of selling their products physically during the last 19 months.

"SME entrepreneurs could not participate in all major festivals including Eids, Pahela Baishakh. So an enthusiasm has been created this year among most of the entrepreneurs all over the country to attend the fair," said Dr. Md. Mafizur Rahman, Managing Director (MD) of SME Foundation.

He said the fair has been designed to support the sector players in all aspects so that they get confidence back in doing businesses.

Due to space constraint, the foundation has planned to allow 325 entrepreneurs in the venue after selecting them considering product categories.

Regarding getting scope of stimulus package to the badly hit sector, Dr. Mafizur Rahman said the fair will create the opportunity for banks and SME players to remove the information and formality related barriers during the event.

"We expect that the fair venue will create scope for them to be prepared so that after the fair necessary loan disbursement starts without delay," he added.

He also said this year's fair has been designed to come out of traditional thought, and there will be capacity-building efforts to hold International Fair in future.

Sources said 325 entrepreneurs of which 60 per cent of them are females have been selected from remote and micro level of entrepreneurs, from traditional to new and diversified products.

This year's fair includes seminars, training for newcomers, networking, skill development in technology and cluster-based product development.

Brac Bank, Eastern Bank, Bank Asia, Janata Bank, Dhaka Bank, Mutual Trust Bank, Bangladesh Krishi Bank (BKB), Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC), Bangladesh Industrial Technical Assistance Center (BITAC), Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI), Jute Diversification Promotion Centre (JDPC) and Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (BCSIR) will participate in the fair.

The products to be on the display include jute, jute products, leather and leather products, handicrafts, cane products, potteries, ceramics, artificial flowers, jewelry, boutiques, food processing, Jamdani, agro processing. Besides, products from light engineering, plastic, electronic and electrical, agro machinery and IT and courier sector will be there at the fair.