Speakers at a workshop on Sunday put higher priory on the country’s SMEs through improving the enabling environment, necessary fiscal policy and incentives in a bid to enhance its contribution to GDP and thus make it a ‘growth engine’.
The speakers made the observations at a workshop for the economic reporters titled “Contribution of SMEs for the Economic Development of Bangladesh: Post COVID-19 Perspective” held at the conference room of the SME Foundation in the capital.SME Foundation organized the workshop in support with the Economic Reporters Forum (ERF), reports BSS.
Presided over by SME Foundation Chairperson Prof Dr Masudur Rahman, former Governor of Bangladesh Bank Dr Atiur Rahman, DCCI President Shams Mahmud, Research Director of CPD Dr Khondaker Golam Moazzem, senior research fellow of BIDS Dr Nazneen Ahmed and ERF President Sharmin Ronvy spoke at the workshop.SME Foundation managing director Md Shafiqul Islam gave the address of welcome while ERF general secretary Rashidul Islam gave the vote of thanks.
Mentioning that around one fourth of the country’s GDP come from the SMEs, former central bank Governor Dr Atiur said, “SMEs are undoubtedly a very big part of the economy and in true sense, these SMEs are going to be the growth engine,” He said to successfully tackle the post COVID-19 pandemic, there is no alternative for taking pro-active policy instead of the business as usual policy.
Atiur also opined that clarity of policies from the central bank is so important in this time of COVID-19. The former Bangladesh Bank governor also suggested for providing more stimulus to the SMEs, increasing their loan-repayment period to two years from the existing one year as well as delivering time befitting fiscal policy and cash incentives to successfully tackle the 2nd wave of the COVID-19.
He also noted since the rural economy will continue to remain vibrant overcoming the shock of COVID-19, there is a need for giving more attention to the SMEs situated in the urban areas.DCCI President Shams Mahmud underscored the need for having a SME linkage policy with the FDI side by side demanded for a 2nd stimulus package for the micro and small entrepreneurs.
Research Director of CPD Dr Khondaker Golam Moazzem argued for not considering the SMEs as a single sector, rather he said SMEs are within all sectors. “SMEs should be viewed from the supply chain point,” He also said that the country needs commercially viable SMEs for which there is a need for creating more space. Echoing with Moazzem, senior research fellow of BIDS Dr Nazneen Ahmed said SMEs is not a separate sector while the existence of SMEs is there in each and every sector.
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