The SME Bank of Cambodia was officially launched by the Ministry of Economy and Finance on Friday 3rd April 2020. Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are able to apply for loans from the SME Co-Financing Scheme.
SME Bank of Cambodia
In early March we reported the imminent launch of the SME Bank of Cambodia and on Friday, the Bank confirmed it’s $100 million government’s so-called SME Co-Financing Scheme fund is available for all prioritised SME’s in Cambodia, while the private sector was also encouraged to invest.
The Khmer Times reported that Lim Heng, vice-president of Cambodia Chamber of Commerce said: “With this bank, it will be good for SMEs as a whole and we hope that the bank will attract more SMEs because it has more favourable conditions compared with commercial banks.” Lim also said that $100 million is an adequate sum and that The National Bank of Cambodia says commercial banks need a minimum of $75 million to launch.
Te Taing Por, President of the Federation of Association for Small and Medium Enterprises of Cambodia (Fasmec) added he hoped that many SMEs will apply for loans from the SME Bank of Cambodia, adding “Fasmec is preparing loan applications for its 300 members to borrow money from the SME Bank.”
Which industries are considered a priority?
The $100 million fund is jointly funded by the SME Bank of Cambodia and 32 participating commercial banks and microfinance institutions.
Under the scheme, SMEs can borrow up to $200,000 for working capital and up to $300,000 for investment capital. The maximum interest rate is 7% per year and the repayment period is 4 years. Collateral is dependent on the criteria of participating financial institutions.
According to a statement from the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the prioritised enterprises are engaged in the following:
- Food production and processing.
- Manufacturing of local products.
- Manufacturing of souvenirs and handicrafts for tourists.
- Waste processing.
- Assembling and information technology (IT).
- Research and development (including IT management services).
It is hoped that the launch by the Cambodian government will assist SMEs during the Coronavirus pandemic.