SMEs See 'Double-Digit Growth' Over Past 2 Years
Tuesday, 02 June 2009

The SME sector has seen double digit growth over the past two years, outpacing the country's economic performance as a whole, the SME Foundation's managing director said on Tuesday.

"The sector began seeing growth of 8-9 percent from about 1990, and went into double digits in the past two years," Momtaz Uddin Ahmed told bdnews24.com.

Though small and medium enterprises comprised mainly food and textile producers in the 1990s, the sector has grown to include light engineering, plastics, medicine, furniture, cement and more, he said.

He also pointed out that poverty alleviation is possible through support and development of SMEs.

"It is a hugely important sector. It won't be enough to provide just short-term policy support. Long-term benefit packages have to be crafted."

Malaysia, Vietnam ready to support

Meanwhile, Malaysia and Vietnam are ready to assist Bangladesh in developing small and medium enterprises, said the SME Foundation MD.

"The two countries have agreed to sign memorandum of understanding," said Momtaz Uddin.

Back from a six-day tour of Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam, he told bdnews24.com: "Malaysia's use of technology in small industry has grown hugely."

"We can utilise their experience and their expertise to enhance the skill of our entrepreneurs and to make our industrialisation process more dynamic."

"Meanwhile, Vietnam has progressed immensely in agriculture and it is now one of the main rice exporting countries of the world," he said.

"Vietnam is also tending to industrialisation after it has made progress in leather and handicraft industries," he said.

IFC boost

Momtaz Uddin said the SME Foundation has recently signed a MOU with the International Finance Corporation, a member of World Bank group, in a bid to boost small and medium enterprise.

"Many informal industry clusters have spread across the country, such as at Dolaikhal, whose numbers have to be specified for their further development."

The IFC would support such efforts to quantify these informal clusters, he said.

Source: bdnews24.com

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