The Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) has identified challenges, including inadequate skilled manpower and limited access to finance, hindering growth of cottage, micro, small and medium enterprises.
It also spotted old machinery, access to harmonised tariff and non-tariff policies and lack of information as other major challenges for CMSMEs.
To overcome these barriers, the trade body put forward a set of recommendations that include strengthening supply chain management for better output of CMSMEs.
It suggested a resilient supply chain system in the sector that will help build a competitive edge, reduce cost of doing business and open up new opportunities.
The suggestions were made during an online workshop for strengthening supply chain in CMSMEs in the post-Covid pandemic era.
The DCCI and Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF Bangladesh) co-hosted the event.
The workshop suggested implementing resilient supply chain to help accelerate 40-60 per cent revenue growth, improve 20-40 per cent customer satisfaction and 10-20 per cent lower transportation costs.
DCCI president Shams Mahmud said CMSMEs contribute a hefty 32 per cent to the growth of gross domestic product (GDP).
The sector creates employment opportunity for an estimated 24-million people which is 40 per cent of the country's total employment, he disclosed.
"Due to the Covid-19 pandemic," Mr Mahmud said, "the overall CMSME sector is hit hard as sales have come down drastically."
He recognised the need for a strong supply chain system in the new normal situation to ensure business sustainability.
The DCCI chief said newly introduced modern technology in the process of supply chain has been increased to keep reliability, traceability and transparency.
"For CMSMEs, we need to strengthen backward-linkage industry to boost value addition to export."
FNF Bangladesh country representative Dr Najmul Hossain said short-, medium- and long-term planning will help strengthen supply chain in the CMSME sector to fuel export competitiveness in the Covid-19 pandemic.
Shankar Kumar Roy, corporate trainer and consultant, presented a keynote paper.
He said CMSMEs are an important arm of the economic growth in Bangladesh.
"CMSMEs are playing an increasingly important role as an engine for economic growth," the keynoter mentioned.