7th Meeting of the SME Development Working Committee of BUILD

The 7th meeting of the SME Development Working Committee of BUILD was held on 7th February 2021, co-chaired by K. M. Ali Azam, Secretary, Ministry of Industries and Mahbubul Alam, President Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI). Ferdaus Ara Begum, CEO, BUILD, presented two keynotes presentations on Industrial Policy 2016 and Support for CMSMEs in Bangladesh & Revisiting the Action Plan of SME Policy 2019 to Address COVID-19 Situation.

CEO BUILD informed at the very beginning of her speech that among the 26 recommendations placed in the 6th SMEDWC, ten have been implemented, and two are in process. She stressed the importance of the inclusion of Logistics as a High Priority Sector in the National Industrial Policy 2021. Bangladesh is going to graduate from LDC by 2024. This will be a considerable achievement for Bangladesh. On the other hand, we will lose some preferential treatment in the export market. To attain sustainable cost competitiveness, there is no alternative to improve the logistics scenario in Bangladesh. Replacement Cost and Value of Fixed assets excluding and buildings may need further clarification. She emphasised the design of an action plan for the fruitful implementation of National Industrial Policy2021’ by addressing the impact of COVID-19 in the socio-economic context. She urged the inclusion of the definition of CMSME and Women Entrepreneurs in the industrial Policy 2021. National Policy for SME cluster base development as well as to ensure ease of finance for the clusters needs to be ensured.

K. M. Ali Azam, Secretary, Ministry of Industries, thanked BUILD for the presentations and organising such a wonderful meeting. To reach the goals set by the government by 2041, it is essential to implement demand-based individual Cottage, Micro, Small, Medium & Large industries. The Ministry of Industries will consider all the recommendations placed by BUILD in the National Policy 2021.

Mahbubul Alam, President, Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI), in his welcome speech, said that there is no alternative to harmonised and synchronised policy advocacy for sustainable SME growth in Bangladesh. 99% of the industries in Bangladesh belong to the SME sector. This sector contributes 86% of total employment generation in Bangladesh. The way forward to resolve the constraints faced by SMEs needs to be addressed in the upcoming Industrial Policy and SME Policy properly. President CCCI drew the attention of the government to ensure ease of financing for the WEs.

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