SMEs offered loans at preferential rates of 1.2-4.4%
  • | VNS | April 11, 2024 03:34 PM
To create additional capital mobilisation channels for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), Vietnam’s Small- and Medium-sized Enterprise Development Fund under the Ministry of Planning and Investment is offering SMEs loans at preferential interest rates of 1.2-4.4% per year.

Specifically, with the aid from the fund, SMEs can enjoy preferential lending interest rates from 1.2% per year for short-term working capital loans and 4.4% per year for medium- and long-term loans. The maximum loan period is seven years while interest grace period is two years with maximum loan amount of 150 billion VND and minimum loan amount of 300 million VND.

For collective economic organisations, such as production cooperatives, a fixed loan interest rate of 5.13% per year will be applied, with a maximum loan term of five years and a maximum loan limit of 100 billion VND.

SMEs said it is a practical and meaningful policy to support them with financial resources to start a business or expand production scale.

According to Hoang Thi Thanh Thanh, Director of the Thai Thanh Agricultural Cooperative, as a newly established SME, the policy is very useful for her cooperative which needs capital to develop more products and expand its distribution system to promote the consumption of goods, increase income for cooperative members and create more jobs for workers. Previously, it was not easy for the cooperative to access bank loans of incentive interest rate programmes.

SMEs always had to take detours and ask for help from acquaintances, both costly and time-consuming. Despite having capital demand, many SMEs were hesitant to borrow because they were worried about not finding the right addresses, Thanh said.

According to Phan Thanh Ha, Director of the fund, currently, the fund has signed framework contracts with six commercial banks including BIDV, Bac A Bank, HD Bank, Military Bank, SHB and Sacombank, to carry out indirect lending.

Pursuant to Government Decree 39/2019/ND-CP on the organisation and operation of the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Fund, and indirect lending regulations, SMEs will be responsible for submitting loan applications at bank transaction offices or by post. Banks will be responsible for receiving loan applications from SMEs before evaluating and making lending decisions for qualified SMEs, Ha said.

The fund decided to transfer capital to banks to provide indirect loans for 39 projects with a total amount of 682 billion VND by the end of 2023, which shows many SMEs accessed aid from the fund, Ha said.

The Small and Medium Enterprise Development Fund, established in 2019, is an off-budget financial fund and operates for non-profit purposes. The fund's purpose is to improve the competitiveness of SMEs, contribute to increasing income and creating jobs for workers. At the same time, it is expected to improve the efficiency of State capital management in supporting SMEs./.

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