Striving towards a National SME Development Strategy for Bangladesh
First Meeting of SME Advisory Committee Held
One of the main activities of the INSPIRED project is the preparation and finalisation of an inclusive National SME Development Strategy. To be able to achieve such auspicious goal, a newly-formed SME Advisory Committee has been established with its first meeting held at the Ministry of Industries, on 14 January 2016. The establishment of the Advisory Committee has been drawn from major stakeholders in the field of SME Development and includes members from both public and private sectors. The meeting was steered by Mr. Md. Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan ndc, Senior Secretary, Ministry of Industries.
The primary objective the Advisory Committee is to draw upon the expertise of the members in the elaboration of the National SME Development Strategy. The issues discussed at first meeting of the Committee included taking best practices from neighbouring and other countries. There should be an analysis of the factors that are responsible for growing and successful SME sector, for example; facilitating policies of government, public and private organisational infrastructure and the readiness of commercial banks to lend to SMEs and entrepreneurs. It was pointed out that for SMEs in Bangladesh, Access to Market is at least more crucial if not more than Access to Finance. These matters needs to be taken into account whilst formulating policy and should be addressed by SMEF, BSCIC, Chambers of Commerce, Business Associations, traditional small industries and so forth, in open collaboration. It was noted that there was a need for the existing institution’s to work more closely together.
Issues related on improving the skill level of workers and the productivity of SMEs, both in the manufacturing sector as well the service industries were also discussed. The chairman stressed the need for Bangladesh to develop an integrated strategy and action plan for SME Development.