With an aim to boosting women entrepreneurship, the month-long 13th International Women’s SME Expo Bangladesh kicked off in port city yesterday.
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi inaugurated the fair, which is being organised by Chittagong Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CWCCI) on Polo Ground premises.
The minister said in terms of education, business, entrepreneurship and empowerment, the country’s women have progressed a lot over the years.
The minister opined that the rate of loan recovery from female entrepreneurs is much more satisfactory compared to their male counterparts. Women are also playing an important role in small and medium enterprises, he said, adding that all necessary support in this regard will be provided to them.
Indonesia is the partner country of this year’s expo.
Speaking at the event, Indonesian Ambassador Rina Soemarno said the trade value between Indonesia and Bangladesh reached around US $2 billion in 2018. But this number does not reflect the actual bilateral trade value because many of such trade come through third countries such as Singapore, India and China.
“Therefore, we put a lot of importance in participating in this expo as well as organising our own expo for the last two years in Dhaka,” she informed.
President of Asian Arab Chamber of Commerce Princess Fay Jahan Ara, Indian Economic Trade Organisation (IETO) President Dr Asif Iqbal, Malaysia World Chamber of Commerce President Dr Datin Malliga Subramaniam, and Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Mahbubul Alam also spoke at the ceremony. CWCCI President Monwara Hakim Ali chaired the event.
CWCCI Senior Vice President and also Chairperson of the fair committee Dr Munal Mahbub delivered the welcome address.
She said entrepreneurs from Iran, India, China, Indonesia, Thailand, Pakistan, Malaysia, Bahrain, Qatar and others will attend the event. There will be 300 big and small stalls as well as 15 pavilions.
CWCCI has been organising the fair since 2007. The sponsors are Brac Bank, Basundhara Group, City Bank, UCBL, Ispahani Group, Teletalk and Mati-Ta, among others.