Speakers at a discussion on Thursday recommended providing budgetary and policy supports to the startups for enhancing their rapid growth in the post-Covid period.
"The startups can play a proactive role in achieving the country's economic growth the target," Planning minister MA Mannan told the pre-budget roundtable titled "Venture Capital and Startups for a Post-Covid Resilient Economy'.
The Venture Capital & Private Equity Association of Bangladesh (VCPEAB) and the Capital Market Journalists Forum (CMJF) jointly organised the virtual discussion.
Speaking as the chief guest, he said that perhaps East India Company was also a startup company which ruled the Indian subcontinent for a very long period of time.
"It's difficult to say where the power of a startup will end," the minister said, adding that the regulatory bodies should facilitate the growth of the startups taking into account their prospects.
Chairman of the securities regulator Prof Shibli RubayatUl Islam and deputy governor of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) Abu Farah Md. Nasser were the special guests at the programme.
Prof. Shibli said the funds from different countries are entering into the developed countries such as America through the startups.
"So, we also need the startups as we have the young generation having innovative ideas. We can utilise the power of young generation through the startups," he said.
Targeting the young generation, the securities regulator has started the small-cap board to facilitate listing of the small-cap companies, said the chairman of Bangladesh Securities Exchange Commission (BSEC).
"We don't have time to sit idle into a box as we are lagging much behind Thailand and Vietnam. We should implement the forward looking ideas," he added.
He said funding for the startups is very important and recently the securities regulator has issued licenses to two startups. "The association of the startups should remain alert so that only two or three startups having ill motives cannot destroy the prospect of the sector," said the BSEC chairman.
Vice chairman of Shanta Asset Management Arif Khan, former BSEC commissioner, presented the keynote speech at the virtual roundtable, saying that today's startups will play a vital role in the coming days and the government as well as the regulators should facilitate the growth of the sectors removing the obstacles.
BB's deputy governor Abu Farah Md. Nasser said the central bank would provide its due policy support to the startups under the existing rules and regulations.
The BSEC commissioner Shaikh Shamsuddin Ahmed said the startups have a vast scope of playing important role in the country's economy.
"The services of the startups should not be confined only among the educated and privileged urban people. Decentralisation of the startups is very important," he said.
The VCPEAB chairman Shameem Ahsan said most of the people will take services from the startups in the coming days. "It'll also help the world to reduce the negative impact of Covid-19 pandemic," he said. He said the concerned ministries and the regulatory bodies should come forward to facilitate the growth the of the country's startups.
The CMJF president Hasan Imam Rubel and general secretary Munir Hossain, among others, also spoke at the programme.