The fully state owned SME Bank, first announced by Prime Minister Hun Sen at the 18th Government-Private Sector Forum last year is reportedly gearing up for a grand official launch in the second half of this year.
An expatriate CEO has been hired, along with well experienced and knowledgeable IT experts and other professionals required to ensure the success of the bank.
Informed sources told Khmer Times that the premises is currently under renovation and is expected to be completed within the next three months after which equipment and related IT systems will be installed.
“The bank will be owned 100 percent by the Royal Government through the Ministry of Economy and Finance which will have one share. The main objective is to assist small and medium enterprises take root and flourish and towards this end, the bank will embark on extensive programmes to educate operators of SME industries on banking and related financial matters.
“We will be operating on the basis of a full commercialized banks and will issue trade financing and related financial facilities. Our objective is to provide affordable financing facilities to the SME sector which will be lower than that the market offers currently.”
The new bank will prioritise the development of Cambodia’s various sectors excerpt upstream agricultural projects which will come under the ambit of the Rural Development Bank. But the new SME Bank will be actively involved in agro processing businesses which brings value added to the industry and SMEs that are back by foreign direct investment, the tourism sector and tech start-ups.
Vongsey Visoth, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Economy and Finance, has been quoted as saying that the budget for the new institution has been completed and now it is all systems go.
Te Taing Por, president of the Federation Association for Small and Medium Enterprises of Cambodia, meanwhile has said he is looking forward to the launch of the bank, which he believes will allow more local SMEs to expand their operations.
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