ARDB to disburse $ 50 million loan by December 31

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The Public Agricultural and Rural Development Bank (ARDB) plans to fully disburse a $ 50 million emergency fund for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by the end of the year, its chief executive Kao said. Thach to The Post on December 14.

He said the bank has received nearly 600 loan applications since the government launched the fund on March 16. Over $ 40 million in loans have been approved.

“Most of the breeders and aquaculturists were able to obtain the loans because the importation of live pigs is limited, which has caused the prices of pork to rise in the domestic market, which has drawn the attention of farmers to these loans. as capital to start their business, ”he said.

He also noted the increase in requests for active participation in the implementation of government employment promotion policies during Covid-19.

“I hope that by the end of this year we will be able to disburse the entire loan according to our targets. There is still a constant stream of new loan applications these days, mostly from small farmers, ”Thach said.

Federation of Small and Medium-Sized Business Associations of Cambodia (Fasmec) President Te Taingpor said the issuance of government loans through the ARDB has served as a lifeline for many of the Kingdom’s SMEs during Covid-19.

He said: “If the loans are really going to help farmers, that’s great. But more importantly is the question of whether they actually reach the farmers or not. We want loans to be made in a transparent manner. “

According to the ARDB, the fund aims to increase production chains and maintain the competitiveness of the SME sector in the context of Covid-19 and the partial withdrawal of the EU’s Everything But Arms (EBA) program.

On August 12, the European Commission (EC) officially withdrew 20 percent of Cambodia’s TSA program. The suspension affects a fifth or 1 billion euros ($ 1.22 billion) of the Kingdom’s annual exports to the bloc of 27 countries.

The ARDB currently offers loans ranging from $ 10,000 to $ 300,000.

The government decided in May to reduce annual interest rates from six to five percent for working capital and from 6.5 to 5.5 percent for capital investments, without service charges.

It also adjusted the maximum loan term from five to seven years for capital investments while keeping a short-term maximum of two years for working capital.

The Under Secretary of State for the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Ros Seilava, told a press conference that the economic crisis caused by Covid-19 was the main trigger for emergency lending efforts to SMEs.

He said the government had allocated $ 500 million in loans to SMEs in “a second phase”. Of this amount, $ 300 million will be devoted to financial support and $ 200 million will be earmarked for credit guarantee projects.

“I hope this scale of funding will help support our economy during the health crisis and be ready for the recovery once it is over,” Seilava said.

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