Bangladesh’s 9th National SME Product Fair 2021 Starts At Bangabandhu International Conference Center
Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina virtually inaugurated the 9th National SME Product Fair 2021 on Sunday at the Bangabandhu International Conference Center.
As the chief guest, she distributed the National SME Entrepreneur Award 2021 among the four best entrepreneurs at the beginning of the eight-day fair from 5-12 December. In her address to youths she advised them to become entrepreneurs themselves without rushing for jobs after finishing their studies.
She added that along with large industries, Bangladesh needs to build small, medium and cottage industries. She also assured that the government will provide all kinds of cooperation in this regard.
The prime minister said that Bangladesh has established 100 industrial zones all over the country. On behalf of the premier, Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun handed over crests, certificates and cheques to the four entrepreneurs.
The awardees are Humaira Mustafa of Sohani's Interior, Nazmul Islam of Taji Agro Industries Limited, Mohammad Shoyeb Hasan of Hifs Agro Food Industry and Mohammad Azizul Huq of Nextdecade Technology Pvt Ltd.
The fair timings are from 10 am to 8 pm everyday till December 12. There is no entrance fee imposed this year.
The participation numbers in the fair are 116 fashion design companies, 37 leather products companies, 36 foods and agro processing companies, 33 handicraft companies, 29 jute products companies, 17 light engineering companies, four IT sector companies, six electrical and electronics companies, four herbal and organic products companies, four jewellery products companies and three plastic products companies.
This year, 311 organisations are taking part in the fair with 325 stalls, out of which 60% belong to women entrepreneurs.
SME Foundation Chairman Dr Md Masudur Rahman said, "Entrepreneurs cannot participate in the fair with foreign products. Ten banks and financial institutions offering SME loans are also participating in the fair and will provide necessary information to the entrepreneurs for getting SME loans."
Apart from entrepreneurs, Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation, Bangladesh Industrial Technical Assistance Center, Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution, Jute Diversification Promotion Centre, Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Dhaka Stock Exchange, Brac Bank, Eastern Bank, Bank Asia, Janata Bank, Dhaka Bank, and Mutual Trust Bank have also contributed in the fair, said Masudur.
SME Foundation Managing Director Dr Md Mafizur Rahman said "In the last eight national SME product fairs, 1,561 entrepreneurs sold products worth around Tk21.88 crore and received orders worth around Tk36.5 crore.
"Besides, at 86 divisional and district level SME product fairs, 3,162 SME entrepreneurs sold products worth Tk23.33 crore and received orders worth Tk21.14 crores. We hope that the trend will continue in this year's fair."
As per the Bangladesh Bank, there are nearly 60 lakh SME entrepreneurs in the country. Around 90% of the total industrial units of the country belong to the SME sector.
The SME sector's contribution to the country's GDP is 25%. By and large, its contribution in the industrial sector is 32%, according to the SME Foundation.
The last fair was held in March 2020, due to the pandemic. This year entrepreneurs seem to be hopeful and think that they will get a huge response.