The Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) will launch the 2nd SME Co-Financing Scheme (SCFS) phase II in August this year after the first $100 million SCFS scheme was successfully subscribed by mid-October 2020 after it launched in April 2020.
SME Co-Financing Scheme Phase II is a wholesale approach similar to the earlier Co-Financing Scheme Phase I in 2020, but offering preferential financing to SMEs coherent with the RGC´s objective to facilitate the provision of financing to SMEs in an effective and sustainable manner to support economic growth and stimulate job creation. Importantly, the scheme will assist SMEs that have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 to restart their business aligned with the RGC’s during and Post Covid-19 Recovery Plan. It will significantly contribute to the economic recovery according to the state-owned commercial bank—SME Bank of Cambodia.
Speaking at the introduction of the SME Co-Financing Scheme phase II on July 19th, Mr. Lim Aun, CEO of SME Bank of Cambodia, said the government has endorsed the SME CO-Financing Scheme Phase II for supporting SMEs during this challenging period.
He added that SCFS phase I in 2020 was successfully subscribed whereby around 1,000 SMEs benefited from the scheme. He also appreciated all participating financial institutions (PFIs) including commercial banks, specialized banks, and microfinance institutions for the active participation and successful arrangement for scheme I last year.
Mr Lim added that the pandemic has brought a lot of disruption and continues to impact businesses in Cambodia, especially SMEs are badly affected. In this regard, the Cambodian government through the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MoEF) has taken a lot of initiatives to address the challenges whereby the SME Bank has lately been given the endorsement to implement the SME Co-Financing Scheme Phase II to support SMEs.
“The financial sum of the second scheme will be the same as scheme I with $100 million, in which $50 million is funded by the SME Bank and the remainder of $50 million is expected from the collaboration with banks and MFIs as the PFIs. Likewise, SME Bank will be participating, operating and administering this scheme on behalf of the Royal Government, so in this regard, I welcome participation and collaboration from all Banks and MFIs to join government’s scheme to make the second scheme more successful and beneficial to our SMEs sector in Cambodia,” he added.
Dr. In Channy, Chairman of the Association of Banks in Cambodia, welcomed the 2nd SME Co-Financing Scheme and thanked all BFIs, who participated in the first SCFS and made the successful scheme last year.
He said the first scheme was run successfully despite short-term preparation, but all funds were used in the short period. “This time I know that there will be more banks to join the SFCS to address the need of the customers in the difficult time of COVID-19. Thus, once again, I hope many participants will join the 2nd SME Co-Financing Scheme,” Dr. Channy noted.
CMA’s Vice Chairman Sok Voeun also welcomed the government’s initiative. He added that SFCS phase I has already finished and some of MFIs had also participated in the scheme and now everyone is interested in the 2nd SCFS. “For CMA members, we are also interested in the second SFCS and will join with SME Co-Financing Scheme,” he added.