National SME Fair is going to be held in Dhaka from Sunday after 21 months aimed at promoting the country’s SME products to create market them in home and abroad aligned with future development plan.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will virtually inaugurate the eight-day ‘9th National SME Products Fair 2021’ of SME Foundation at city’s Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC), Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun informed at a press conference on Thursday.
“Our goal is to build a developed and prosperous Bangladesh by 2041 to realise the dream of the Father of the Nation. And SME sector is the main driver of achieving socioeconomic development goals,” Humayn said.
“The role of SME in economic development and job creation is widely recognized. SMEs scattered across the country are producing quality goods, but they struggle to showcase and sell their products for lack of marketing facility,” he added, hoping that the fair will help them promote the products.
Some 311 SMEs across the country will showcase their products at 325 stalls of the fair at BICC from 10am to 8pm until December 12. There will be no entry fees for the visitors. The products will range from light engineering, electrical and electronics, jute and leather goods and IT to agro processed food, handicraft, herbal products, fashion items and imitation jewelry in line with the priority set in the ‘National Industrial Policy 2016.’
60 percent of the participating entrepreneurs will be women while 40 percent will be male participants, the minister informed.
SME Foundation will announce ‘National SME Entrepreneur Award 2021’ at the inaugural function of the event to recognise the contribution of SME entrepreneurs in economic development.
There will also be arrangement for buyer-seller meeting booth, blood donation programme, media centre and online product marketing stall.
In the previous eight national SME fairs, some 1,561 entrepreneurs sold nearly Tk 218.8 million products and received orders for another Tk 365 million products, the industries minister informed.
By utilizing area-based raw materials and industry potentials, Bangladesh can create a sustainable and environment-friendly SME sector. As a result, local industrial production will surge while imports will decline, Humayn expressed hope.
“With this, we’ll be able to self reliant economically and industrial production, which the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman dreamt of,” he remarked.
Replying to media queries, the industries minister said the government was sincerely trying to resolve the financing issues of SME entrepreneurs and enhancing capacity of SME Foundation’s financing capacity.
In reply to a separate question, the minister informed that the government is in negotiation with a number of foreign investors to modernise, diversify state-owned sugar mills to make them profitable.
State Minister for Industries Kamal Ahmed Majumder, Industries Secretary Zakia Sultana, SME Foundation Chairperson Prof Masudur Rahman and Managing Director Md Mafizur Rahman, among others, were present at the press conference.