Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) contribute 80 to 85 per cent to the industrial employment of the country, according to a new study.
According to the research, conducted by the SME Foundation, more than 98 per cent of the total business enterprises in Bangladesh are SMEs.
“Among the SME enterprises, over 84 per cent of SMEs are located in villages while more than 80 per cent are cottage industries,” it added.
The research, titled ‘Development of SMEs in Bangladesh: Lessons from German Experiences’, was supported by the German organization Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) Bangladesh.
Prime Minister’s Adviser on International Affairs Dr Gowher Rizvi was the chief guest at the research publishing function while SME Foundation Chairperson Dr Md Masudur Rahman presided over the virtual event.
Bangladesh Ambassador to Germany Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan and German Ambassador to Bangladesh Peter Fahrenholtz were special guests.
Managing Director of the SME Foundation Md Shafiqul Islam and Resident Representative of FES Tina Bloom, among others, spoke on the occasion.
According to the research, obstacles to the development of the SME sector in Bangladesh include lack of financing, high-interest rate on loans, shortage of skilled and unskilled workers, lack of connectivity with technical education institutes, lack of effective business network, lack of information.
In his speech, Gowher Rizvi said Germany’s advancement in the SME sector is undoubtedly encouraging.
“The contribution of SME enterprises is only 40 per cent to the country’s economy, so it is necessary to focus on skill development in this sector,” he added.