The government will take numerous initiatives for the development of the SME sector, said the Prime Minister’s adviser for private industry and investment.
Prime Minister's adviser for private industry and investment Salman F Rahman on Saturday said the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) sector will create one crore employment opportunities by 2030.
During the time, the government will take numerous initiatives, including setting up of at least 50 economic zones and launching of one-stop service, for the development of the SME sector, he added.
The PM's adviser was addressing the inaugural session of a workshop titled "The Role of Media in Promoting SME Development and Sustainability" at the conference room of the Economic Reporters' Forum in the capital.
"Some 90 percent of a country's total factories should come from the SME sector. We are going ahead to achieve this goal by easing different matters related to opening new businesses," Salman F Rahman said.
With the development of the SME, the fourth industrial revolution will be successful, he said. "We will have to work more for skills development to face the challenges of the 4th industrial revolution."
At present, the government is working to prepare 100 special economic zones to attract private investment. Both local and foreign entrepreneurs are investing in those economic zones under the Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority.
And, the government has set a target to create one crore jobs in the special economic zones.
"Considering a growing sector in freelancing, we are preparing a database of freelancers. And the work on it is nearing completion," Salman said, adding every freelancer will be brought under registration once the database is ready, and a registered freelancer will get bank loans too.
"Before starting to make the database, we thought there were one to two lakh freelancers in the country. But when we started working on it, we found more than six lakh are working in the sector and earning a big amount of foreign currency every year," the PM's adviser added.
Mentioning the country's advancement in recent ease of doing business index revealed by the World Bank, he said the ranking has improved, but the country is still lagging behind in the same index and competitive index.
"We will definitely improve further as we have brought some reforms to it… We will improve in all indices in the coming days," he added.
According to the World Bank's Doing Business 2020 report, Bangladesh advanced 8 notches in the global ease of doing business ranking to 168 out of 190 countries. The country rose to the rank of the 168th from 176th in the previous year.
At the programme, Industries Secretary Md Abdul Halim said gazette notification on the new SME policy will be published soon.
He said the government's policy is to raise the industrial sector's contribution to 40 percent of the Gross Domestic Product by 2030.
Mentioning that the central effluent treatment plant at the Savar Tannery Industrial Estate is likely to become operational by December, Halim said the new leather industry policy is eying to fetch $5 billion by 2024 from leather and leather goods export.
Md Mostaque Hassan, the chairman of the Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation, said the government is looking forward to creating some three crore employment opportunities through setting up some 50 industrial parks on 20,000 acres of land by 2030.