SME Bank expands support with $100M for local enterprise growth

SME Bank expands support with $100M for local enterprise growth


The state-owned Small and Medium Enterprise Bank of Cambodia (SME Bank) has allocated an additional budget of approximately $100 million to provide financing for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in a move aimed at stimulating growth and augmenting local economic activity.

Lim Aun, CEO of SME Bank, said that by the end of 2023, the bank had disbursed around $490 million in loans to over 3,200 enterprises.

He said the financing was facilitated through two key mechanisms: direct financing and co-financing schemes, the latter in partnership with participating financial institutions.

Aun said the bank plans to allocate about $100 million more for financing its target customers in 2024.

“The SME sector is significantly contributing to the socio-economic development of Cambodia. The policy and support programmes of the government, channelled through SME Bank, are designed to enhance the Cambodian SME sector. The initiative aims at bolstering economic resilience and promoting sustainable and inclusive development, in alignment with the vision of the government,” he explained.

Lim Heng, vice-president of the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce, commended the effective functioning of the bank, citing his direct observations from visiting businesses.

“The bank has been crucial in offering loans that stimulate SME activities. However, the budget appears somewhat limited,” he said.

“Our SMEs, particularly in the agricultural sector, require substantial funds for purposes such as purchasing paddy rice for storage and processing products for export. Access to additional capital, like low-interest loans, would greatly benefit them,” he added.

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Reporter: May Kunmakara

Publication date: 15 January 2024

Source: The Phnom Penh Post