Dr IN Channy, Chairman of the Association of Banks in Cambodia (ABC), on Monday 16th August 2021, attended the unveiling of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Signing Ceremony and the Launching of the “SME Co-Financing Scheme II (SCFS-II)” between SME Bank of Cambodia Plc. (SME Bank) and the Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs).
The event was jointly presided over by H.E. Dr PHAN Phalla, Secretary of State at Ministry of Economy and Finance, and Chairman of SME Bank in Cambodia and by Mr. Lim Aun, Chief Executive Officer of the SME Bank. The event was attended by 63 Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and Senior Officers of Banking and Finance Institutions (BFIs).
Mr LIM Aun, CEO of SME Bank, expressed his sincere gratitude to the PFIs, who have jointly implemented the SME Co-Financing Scheme Phase I in 2020. The scheme was a success and was fully subscribed by October 2020, 4 months ahead of schedule. The Scheme is one of the Kingdom’s strategies in providing financing assistance to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Now with the recent endorsement from His Excellency Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Economy and Finance Dr AUN Pornmonirath, to pursue the implementation of SCFS-II to support SMEs with the same key objectives, SME Bank would like to take this moment to officially commence the participation and collaboration starting from today (16th August 2021) onward”.
Mr LIM Aun added that in this SCFS-II, a total of 26 PFIs have confirmed to participate, of which 21 are from Commercial Banks, 1 Specialised Bank, and 4 Micro Finance Institutions. All those PFIs together have committed to a total reserved fund of USD 161.3 million.
“We strongly believe that the fund will be utilized quickly, to ease the SMEs´ financial difficulties so they could resume their business and contribute to the economic recovery,” he added.
ABC’s Chairman, Dr IN Channy, said that SMEs are the backbone of the Cambodian economy, contributing significantly to the country’s GDP as well as employment opportunities. However, one of the main concerns of SMEs is the financing, which is the main factor in restraining their growth. Therefore, the SCFS-II initiated by the Government, especially the Ministry of Economy and Finance, would not just only support the Government’s efforts in restoring the economy from the pandemic, but would also contribute to support SME sector to provide convenient access to affordable financing in order to increase the economy´s diversification, and to relieve to some extent the customers from the burden during the hard-hit situation of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Association of Banks in Cambodia would like to thank the Government, especially, the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the National Bank of Cambodia, for providing the opportunity to the BFIs to join the Government’s schemes. Also, we would like to thank the PFIs, who have participated in the Government’s SCFS-I, and who are now participating in its Phase II,” he added.
H.E. Dr PHAN Phalla hoped that the SFCS- II will contribute significantly to support the SMEs to retain their business operations during the COVID-19 Pandemic and to smoothly head towards post-COVID-19 recovery. He added that the Government has been preparing Post-COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan 2021-2023, which will be focusing on supportive financing especially for SMEs in the priority sectors such as food-processing, manufacturing, and local products to service domestic market.
“The SCFS-II will become a crucial financing mechanism to implement the Government’s Post-COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan 2021-2023.”