DCCI president calls for increased support to enhance technical capacity in SMEs
Special Correspondent: There are about nine million entrepreneurs in the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) sector in the country. They have created employment opportunities for 24.5 million people in various business sectors, including agriculture and product manufacturing. The SMEs’ contribution to the country’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is 25 percent.
President of the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI), Barrister Md. Sameer Sattar, disclosed this at a seminar in the city on Saturday. He called upon the government to extend support for increasing the technical capacity of SME entrepreneurs in building a smart economy.
He called upon the government to extend support for increasing the technical capacity of SME (Small and Medium Enterprises) entrepreneurs in building a smart economy.
The seminar, organized by the DCCI on ‘Technology for Smart SMEs,’ was held at its auditorium in Motijheel. Secretary of the Information and Communication Technology Department, SamsulArefin, was present at the seminar as the chief guest. Saifur Rahman, the Managing Director of GBL Fintech Limited, presented the keynote paper at the seminar.
The DCCI president, who presided over the seminar, said that increasing the technical capacity of the country’s SMEs, formulating supportive policies, and implementing necessary reforms would play an effective role in transforming Bangladesh’s economy into a smart economy in the future.
“In addition to accelerating the economic growth trend of Bangladesh, local SMEs have been playing an important role, especially in creating employment opportunities,” he said.
He emphasized the need for increasing financial support for technology capacity building of SMEs, providing low-interest refinancing assistance for adopting information technology, ensuring the full use of fintech systems, technology transfer, tax and customs-related assistance, and policy support.
Executive Director and Spokesperson of Bangladesh Bank, Md. MezbaulHaque, stated that the maximum use of technology available in the country has not yet been achieved.”
“We are talking about the use of AI, blockchain, etc., technology in various sectors, but we could not ensure maximum use of the technology available in our country,” he said.
He highlighted the lack of technology use, citing an example of a garment factory taking money in a truck to pay the workers, resulting in the money being stolen. However, during pregnancy, the government has made banking arrangements to pay salaries, and no complaints have been received about salaries through this banking channel. This accident would not have happened without reluctance to use technology, he added.
MezbaulHaque mentioned that many famous restaurants in our capital are not yet accepting digital payments. There may be a governance issue behind this reluctance.
Regarding the SME sector, he said it is possible to onboard the SME sector if all ecosystems can be brought into technology. Although our TIN system is automated, the trade license has not been automated yet.
“If all ecosystems can be brought under e-KYC, the whole economy, including our SME sector, will go a long way,” he said.
Secretary of the Information and Communication Technology Department, ShamsulArefin, said that technology is mainly used in two areas-how much and how the government will use it, and how it will be used in the private sector.
He emphasized two crucial aspects of technology use: smart government or governance and a smart economy.
He said that many people argue for a smart government because businessmen face problems due to many government activities or issues with the port. If the government can use technology properly, many things will be solved easily. He stressed the need for government activities to be data-driven, stating that no work can be done properly without proper data. If the data is correct, it is much easier for us to make decisions, he said, adding that if we cannot address these issues properly, then we cannot ensure a smart government or governance in any way.
He mentioned that SMEs or CSMEs are our main economic issue, contributing to everything from our GDP to economic growth. Today’s Bangladesh is made up of small businesses.
Former Chief Coordinator of SDG Affairs at the Prime Minister’s Office and former Chief Secretary AbulKalam Azad, Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BCIC) Chairman Mohammed Mahbubur Rahman, CEO, and Co-founder of Seba Platform Limited, IlmulHaqueSajib, CEO and Co-founder of BodyJobs.com, AKM FahimMashroor, Director of the Institute of Information Technology at Dhaka University, Professor Dr. BM Mainul Hossain, among others, spoke at the seminar.
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