INSPIRED is an exciting Programme to develop SMEs (Small and Medium Sized Enterprises) in Bangladesh. It is co-funded by the European Union Delegation in Bangladesh. 

The European Union Delegation to Dhaka opened in 1982 to foster closer ties between the European Community and Bangladesh in the fields of development and economic co-operation and today the European Union is Bangladesh’s biggest export market. In 2011 its exports to the EU reached a record level of over 8 billion Euros or more than half of Bangladesh’s total exports. 

At the same time, annual aid from the EU to Bangladesh grew to 400 million EUROs, including 150 million Euros (some 1500 crore Taka) from the European Union and the rest from EU Member States’ bilateral programmes. 

The EU is pleased to co-finance INSPIRED. In Bangladesh, micro, small and medium enterprises play a vital role in the development of the economy. They create jobs, they produce exports and they bring in foreign exchange. They are the driving force of the economy. They account for 90% of all private enterprises. There are reckoned to be 6 million SMEs and micro enterprises of less than 100 employees and they contribute 25% of Bangladesh GDP growth, and represent 25% of total employment in the country.

However, until now, SMEs in Bangladesh have not been able to develop fully and realise their potential. INSPIRED is designed to help do just this.

But INSPIRED is just one part of EU support for the integration of Bangladesh in the global economy. The European Union is one of the largest donors in Bangladesh in trade related assistance and economic cooperation. It provides a total of EUR 80 million for this area in the period of 2007-2013, the biggest trade related programme it has anywhere in the world.

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