Fashion designers are going to dominate this year's national SME fair that begins in Dhaka on Wednesday.
More than 150 small and medium-sized fashion houses will take part in the eighth edition of the fair – over 51 percent of the total number of participants.
Processed food and agro products represent 12 and 10 percent, respectively, of the shares of participants at the expo; followed by leather goods.
Organised by the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Foundation, 156 of the fair's 309 stalls will showcase fashion products.
The nine-day SME fair will be organised at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Sher-e-Bangla Nagor to promote local SME products on both the domestic and international markets.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will open the national expo at 10am on Wednesday at the Krishibid Institute in the capital, Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun told reporters at the SME Foundation auditorium on Monday.
The minister believes that the fair will bridge local SME entrepreneurs and consumers.
"It will also help to grow mutual understanding and communication between them," he said.
A total of 296 SME entrepreneurs will participate in the fair – 66 percent of whom will be women, he added.
During the last seven editions of the fair, 65 percent of the participants, on average, were women.
The fair will showcase diverse SME products including: jute, light engineering products, processed food and agricultural products, leather products, electrical and electronic goods, IT products, plus fashion items.
"As always, there will be no foreign products at the fair," the industries minister said.
After the fair, five entrepreneurs from different sectors will be awarded the 2020 National SME Entrepreneur Reward, the minister added.
Moreover, five seminars will be held during the fair. Experts at the seminars will shed light on the prospects of – and challenges to – SME sectors, and how to overcome them.
The fair will remain open for all from 10am-8pm every day, at no admission cost.
The national SME fair is economically significant for the country – with a large amount of financial transactions taking place every year during the fair.
During the last seven editions of the national expo, SME products worth around Tk17 crore were sold, and entrepreneurs received orders totalling more than Tk30 crore.