‘SME sector controls 70 pc of the country’s economic activity’

Published : 20 Jan 2022 09:22 PM

About 99 percent of the industries and businesses in Bangladesh, including cottages, are currently covered by the Small and medium-sized enterprises sector which controls 70 percent of the country's economic activity, said Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun

Minister was speaking as the chief guest at the pilot program in four upazilas and police stations of Shyampur in Dhaka, Adamdighi in Bogra, Nesharabad in Pirojpur and Bhairab in Kishoreganj on Thursday as part of the database creation programme.

He said the SME sector accounts for 80 to 85 percent of the total industrial employment. The SME sector supplies 30 to 35 per cent of the total domestic industrial demand.

Therefore, SME e-database activities are a very timely initiative. If the information of all SME entrepreneurs of the country is available on one platform, it will be easier for the government to determine the policy for the development of this sector, he added.

He further said that such programmes will play an important role in the development of the 

SME sector. 

State Minister for Information and Communication Technology Zunaid Ahmed Palak was the special guest at the function presided over by Prof Dr Md Masudur Rahman, Chairperson, SME Foundation. Welcoming remarks were made by Dr Mofizur Rahman, Managing Director, SME Foundation and Dr. Dewan Muhammad Humayun Kabir, Project Director, a2i.

State Minister for Information and Communication Technology Zunaid Ahmed Palak said, “Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has taken various initiatives to enrich this largest sector of the country. However, due to the lack of regularly updated databases, we often had to speed up various policy decisions regarding the SME sector.” 

He said that hence, this initiative of SME Foundation and a2i is a timely and practical initiative. It would be a request to a2i to continue this work with the SME Foundation and to come up with a proper plan for how all the CMSMEs in the country can be brought under this database. 

“In addition, I would like to request the a2i and SME Foundation to work closely with other concerned departments to ensure that all SMEs receive all their services from a single platform”, he said. 

He added that the SME Foundation and the ICT department could work together to ensure that SME entrepreneurs receive training, funding and various business services.

In his welcome address, Dr Mofizur Rahman, Managing Director, SME Foundation, said that the SME Policy 2019 aims to increase the contribution of SME sector to GDP from the current 25% to 32% by 2024. The SME e-database, in collaboration with A2I, initiated by the SME Foundation, will play a vital role in shaping government policy in the development of this sector.

Prof Dr Md Masudur Rahman, Chairperson, SME Foundation, said that it will play an important role in financing entrepreneurs, marketing products and improving product quality soon after the completion of SME e-database at the initiative of a2i and SME Foundation.