Small and Medium Enterprise Foundation (SMEF) has undertaken a training programme, with cooperation of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), to give Japanese standard managerial training to 60 entrepreneurs for creating backward linkage industries in the country.
SME Foundation is implementing the training programme under a JICA project titled “Project for Promoting Investment and Enhancing Industrial Competitiveness in Bangladesh” aimed at attracting foreign direct investment (FDI).
Talking to BSS, SMEF Deputy Managing Director SM Shaheen Anwar said the main objective of the project is to facilitate the formulation of industrial policy or programmes which are well harmonized with investment promotion and development of linkages between foreign companies and domestic (supporting) industry, thus contributing to diversification and enhancement of the national industries.
Under the programme, SMEF General Manager M Nazeem Hassan Satter said, Japanese experts have already provided training to 12 entrepreneurs on business and financial management in the first year.
“Over four years, 60 participants will be trained. During the period, JICA will also develop 36 KAIZEN, a Japanese word for continuous improvement of an organization, trainers and the KAIZEN process will be implemented in 36 factories,” he added.
SMEF Assistant General Manager Suman Chandra Saha said nine participants from the National Productivity Organisation (NPO), Bangladesh Institute of Management (BIM), Bangladesh Engineering Industry Owner Association (BEIOA), Bangladesh Plastic Goods Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BPGMEA) and SMEF are being trained by Japanese experts on the introduction and implementation of KAIZEN to develop productivity and workplace safety in SMEs of Bangladesh.
After one week of the class room training, he said, the trainees are currently implementing KAIZEN in three factories.
JICA, a Japanese donor agency, is implementing the project under three components- activity for improving business environment and enhancing investment promotion, activity for strengthening Economic Zone (EZ) operation and activity for strengthening the support system for industry.
A representative of JICA Dhaka office said the Bangladesh government is providing special attention to FDI as it is essential to achieve the goals of development.
“Backward linkage industries can provide necessary supports to the foreign industries through supplying raw materials. So, backward linkage industry is essential for attracting FDI,” she added.
Through the project, she said JICA wants to create a business friendly environment so that the foreign investors come to Bangladesh for a long term plan and Bangladeshi suppliers will provide them proper supports.
“We are working through SMEF and Bangladesh Industrial Technological Assistance Centre (BITAC) for business development capacity building. We are selecting some companies from the plastic and light engineering sectors for providing them training as they can build their capacity and give support to the assembler foreign large industries,” she added.-bss