SME’s contribution to GDP is very low in comparison to other emerging economies, needs SMPs support to revive the sector Speakers suggest at Global Webinar
In Bangladesh, SMEs are considered as engines of economic growth that constitutes over 90 percent of business enterprises while 97.60 percent in India, 99 percent in China, 99.70 percent in Japan, and 60 percent in Pakistan. SME contributes to GDP of 20.25 percent which is very low in comparison to other emerging economies. Bangladesh has 17,384 micro-enterprises out of which 15,666 small and 6103 medium, 3639 large-scale enterprises.
Speakers also said, in the country SME sector con not grow substantially because of lack of fiscal incentives, management problems, access to finance, skilled manpower, and policy inconsistency. Along with these in the Covid scenario, the situation became more aggravated as a cash-flow problem, liquidity crisis, IT skill gap, reduction of production costs, for example, shifting to e-commerce practices and digitalization of operations have emerged as the new challenges to the SME sector.
the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh (ICAB) organized the Global Webinar on ‘Future-ready SMEs and SMPs: Vital for Sustainable Economy on Sunday, 27 June 2021 to mark International SMEs/SMPs day 2021.
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi, MP said, during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis Small & Medium Practitioner(SMP) accountants can play a great role in supporting SMEs. As advisors to the SMEs, they provide the link between the SME sector and the ecosystem that the sector has to navigate.
As the chief guest Tipu Munshi said, ‘I believe SMPs have been able to demonstrate themselves to their clients as value advisers and help them to build businesses that are sustainable for the long term.
In his address of welcome ICAB President Mahmudul Hasan Khusru FCA said, Small & Medium Practitioners (SMPs) are providing services for adjustment to technological advancements and evolving needs of their clients with the changing business environment
On how small and medium practitioners (SMPs) can support SMEs, Maria Howlader FCA, Vice President-ICAB and one of the keynote presenters said, many SME industries do not know the importance of SMPs in their business procedure. ICAB will take initiatives for collaboration with government, SME Foundation, different trade bodies for making the industry aware of the quality and diversified services of SMPs, etc., she further said.
Ms. Howlader said, small and medium practitioners can provide advisory supports to SME in the fields of tax & VAT advisory, loan, merger & acquisitions, loan documentation, restructuring, succession planning, insolvency, liquidation, financial planning, modeling, structuring, support on business development and Human Resources policies and procedures, employment regulations, etc.
Describing the challenges for the SMPs in Bangladesh she said, to build the capacity of SMPs ICAB has taken the initiative to digitalize audit practice, subsidizing audit software license for all CA Firms, providing training on audit software at free of costs, capacity building plan for the SMP in terms of knowledge sharing, practice management, technology adaptation, etc.
Describing the transformation of SMP’s, another keynote presenter Christopher Arnold pointed out the importance of SMP services during and after Covid as SMP always focuses on an advisory role and the growth opportunities of the sector.
Tipu Munshi, MP, Honorable Minister, Ministry of Commerce, GoB grace the webinar as the Chief Guest. Maria Howlader FCA, Vice President of ICAB, and Christopher Arnold, Head of SME/SMP and Research, International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) jointly presented the keynote paper. ICAB President Mahmudul Hasan Khusru FCA delivered an address of welcome. ICAB CEO Shubhashish delivered opening remarks while Vice President Md. Abdul Kader Joaddar FCA made closing remarks. AKM Aftabul Islam FCA, Principal Partner, Islam Aftab Kamrul & Co, Chartered Accountants moderated the session as session chairman.
As panel speakers Dr. Md. Masudur Rahman, Chairman, Small & Medium Enterprise Foundation; Anwar-ul Alam Chowdhury, President, Bangladesh Chamber of Industries (BCI); and Tina Jabeen, Managing Director & CEO, Startup Bangladesh Limited joined the programme.