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SME Bank operation date accelerated to counter sectors economic headwinds

Chea Vannak / Khmer Times Share:
Workers at the Leang Leng Fish Sauce Enteprise’s in Phnom Penh. KT/Siv Channa

The state-run Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Bank has been confirmed to bring forward their opening date to earlier this year than previously planned, stated a senior government official yesterday at the Council of Ministers.

Meas Soksensan, general secretary of the Ministry of Economy and Finance said, the bank has appointed its board of directors and is currently in the process of applying for licences from the National Bank of Cambodia.

He added it is important the bank becomes operational as soon as possible because it was designed to assist with the needs of small and medium businesses because these are the very businesses that are struggling amid the Novel Coronavirus outbreak.

“The bank’s structure has already been established and the bank launch will be coming up soon. The bank is for sure to be operational within the year to respond to the current global economic situation,” Meas said

“It will not be far from now that we have the capital to make this bank operational very soon,” he said.

The bank that will be under the management of the Ministry of Economy and Finance has so far been allocated $100 million in capital to assist with the initial set-up.

Once operational the bank will help provide greater financial access to the country’s SME sector, allowing businesses to expand their production and processing particularly for domestic agricultural products

“Our target is to promote small and medium enterprises to have greater access to funds and at a low interest rate to invest in equipment and infrastructure and expand their production capabilities. This is because we consider the sector to be one of the driving forces behind economic growth,” Meas said.

Te Taing Por, president of the Federation Association for Small and Medium Enterprises of Cambodia, told Khmer Times this week that accessing funds with a low-interest rate is crucial to expand businesses and production.

“Lack of financial support is a key issue prohibiting the development of SMEs in Cambodia. So, with the presence of the SME Bank, we will have greater options for business to access financial support outside the commercial financing sector,” Te Taing Por said.

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