Small and cottage industries entrepreneurs called for the continuation of government policies and financial support to survive the financial shocks they have faced during Covid and the ongoing global economic recession.
They said that the production cost of handicrafts and handloom items has increased due to the yarn price hike.
At the first meeting of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce & Industries (FBCCI) Standing Committee on Handicrafts, Handloom, Cottage Industries, Ethnic and Tribal Products held on Tuesday, committee members highlighted the issues and called for the introduction of online payment gateways in the country to facilitate the process of getting the payment from abroad.
They also demanded the apex trade body's assistance to get easy financing from banks.
The committee members urged the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) to be more active in organising trade fairs at home and abroad and ensure the participation of women entrepreneurs for a nominal fee.
FBCCI Senior Vice President Mostofa Azad Chowdhury Babu said, "Fairs should not only be aimed at selling products. You have to bring orders from there. You have to improve product quality, diversify products and increase competitiveness."
FBCCI Vice President Amin Helaly urged the entrepreneurs to submit specific proposals in writing about the challenges of handicrafts, handloom and cottage industry so that FBCCI can present it to the policy makers.
Director-in-Charge of the standing committee Ali Hossain Shishir said, "SME entrepreneurs can overcome the current crises if they get government policy and financial support."
Chairman of the committee Rashedul Karim Munna emphasised on increasing productivity through skill development of the workers in the handicraft industry. He suggested making a strategic plan for handloom and handicrafts industry.
President of National Association of Small and Cottage Industries of Bangladesh, Mirza Nurul Ghani Shovon, demanded the implementation of the National Handicraft Policy to make the investment safe and sustainable.