The Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) deserve more support amid the Covid-19 pandemic, speakers said in a virtual programme.
The guests and participants from across the world on Sunday joined in the web conference on "Banking Support and Global Connections for SME's", said a press release on Tuesday.
The speakers represented SMEs' situation in their home countries amid Covid-19 and emphasized the SMEs' cooperation and networking over the world.
As the chief guest of the conference, MA Mannan, the planning minister of Bangladesh, said, "SME's are the heart of economies anywhere in the world, it can be a low-income country like ours, it can be a very high-income country like Canada. So SME's are reigning in the industrial and semi-industrial sectors all over the globe, they are the driving force in the economies globally."
"Covid or no Covid, with the rise of digital economies, electronics, robotics, and so many things, things are changing, the earlier concepts of very large factories with thousands of people working and changing hands from this to that, that sort of pattern shift is going to happen in the world, "
"We need to cooperate across the globe wherever we are, SME's or large sectors or even miniscule sectors", he added.
Ali Reza Iftekhar, chairman of Association of Bankers, Bangladesh, said that the Tk20,000 crore of special funds created by the government and initiated by the honorable PM Sheikh Hasina has helped a lot of SME customers.
Eric Meijer, director of Mind Master Mundo, Netherlands, said that many businesses in Holland want to export to Bangladesh to deliver knowledge and skills.
As the keynote presenter Abdus Sobhan, banker and consultant, said, "SMEs are the worst affected amid Covid-19 pandemic. The banking and financial sector need to support SMEs."
Benjir Ahmed, MP, president of Bangladesh International Recruiting Agencies, said, "There are so many SMEs that are not getting the proper channel to sell the product. The stakeholders have to create opportunities for the sector."
Mohammad Hadi Al Hammam, Al Sharqia Chamber, KSA, said the ministry of finance of Saudi Arabia has allocated a billion Saudi Riyals for the private sector support.
Aminath Mohamed Saleem, deputy minister of Higher Education of Maldives; Vincent de Paul EMAH ETOUMDI parliament member of Cameroon, spoke in the programme.
Dmitry Veselov, co-chairman, and VP of All-Russian public organization, Russia, Md Shafiqul Islam, Managing Director of SME Foundation; Rifat Mahmud, CEO Oblique Professionals, spoke on occasion as well.
SM Zillur Rahman, VP & head in Bangladesh of World Association for SME's moderated the programme.