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A post-budget dialogue on SMEs and Women Entrepreneurship Development was jointly arranged by Bangladesh INSPIRED, Business Initiative Leading Development (BUILD) and Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) at the DCCI auditorium on the 25th of June 2016. The purpose was to take a stock of SME Development Policies announced in the Budget and to identify the issues of how SME Women Entrepreneurs will benefit from the budget.

Dr. M. Mashrur Reaz, Programme Manager, The World Bank Group, was the Special Guest and stated that although the Budget is important, it has got some limitations because unless other comparable policies are synchronised the Budget will not be able to fulfil the promises it expounds.

There was some discussion on the new tax and VAT measures proposed in the new budget with some participants fearing these proposed measures could create uneven competition.

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In the panel discussion Dr. Abdul Mazid, former    chairman of NBR mentioned that the SME sector should be the largest part of the country’s economy and that Bangladesh can learn a lot from the  Japanese SME sector.  He also took up the point on tax and VAT, made earlier by some of the participants and he suggested that there should be a developed tax and VAT policy targeted to assist the development of the SME sector.

There were two keynote speeches on SME and Women Entrepreneurship Development; one of which was presented by Ms. Ferdaus Ara Begum, CEO BUILD and the second was on Technology Access for Women Entrepreneurs which was presented by Ms. Luna Shamsuddoha, one of the Board of Directors of the SME Foundation.

Mr. Ali Sabet, Team Leader,  INSPIRED Bangladesh underlined the importance of SME networking in the country. Dr. Abdul Mazid, former chairman of NBR was also one of the contributing panellists.

Mr. Asif Ibrahim, Adviser to BUILD Trustee Board, moderated the dialogue while DCCI Acting President Mr. Humayun Rashid summed up the dialogue.