Japan-based Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) is currently conducting a survey to assess which small- and medium-sized business enterprises (SMEs) will be eligible for government loans to help their businesses.
According to Zaw Min Win, chairman of the Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion Committee (SMEPC), these loans will be channelled through the government’s Central Bank of Myanmar, and will be disbursed after SMCB have finished the survey.
“The money will be channelled through the Central Bank of Myanmar, via about five private banks. Currently, SMBC is conducting a survey to find SMEs with good potential to qualify for these loans,” Zaw Min Win said.
He added that there are still some obstacles stopping SMEs from developing fully.
“There are still requirements. First, we need to adopt a SMEs Law to allow the SMEs to address their issues within their organisations, and second, working teams must be formed to seek investments and for technical development,” he said.
Last year, the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Bank distributed a total of 10 billion kyat in loans, roughly $10.2 million, to SMEs across the country and are currently looking to double this amount to about 20 billion kyat this year, said Ei Swee Zin Tun, deputy director of SMEPC’s Policy and Foreign Affairs department.
According to the current government regulations, SMEs seeking to receive the loan must put up some collateral, but most of the enterprises do not have items that are of enough value. However, state-run newspapers have reported that larger enterprises based in Europe are planning to provide loans to Burmese SMEs, especially for those in the agriculture and livestock breeding sector.
* EDITOR’s NOTE: The photograph originally published with this article showed Co-operative Bank (CB Bank), mistakenly identified as the Central Bank of Myanmar. Also, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation was misspelled as ‘Cooperation’. DVB apologises for these errors.