TCC, central bank discuss SMEs' woes

TCC, central bank discuss SMEs' woes

The Thai Chamber of Commerce (TCC) on Monday talked with the Bank of Thailand on the possibility to allow small and medium-sized enterprises to place purchase orders or invoices as loan collateral, a move that will enable SMEs to gain easier access to funds that will help alleviate their tight liquidity.

TCC chairman Sanan Angubolkul said a great number of entrepreneurs especially small-scale ones now seriously suffer tight liquidity, with certain operators having to rely on unorganised loans to lubricate their business operations for failure to access state soft loan programmes.

"Despite the current virus crisis, many entrepreneurs still boast of growth potential," said Mr Sanan.

"The chamber of commerce itself has realised ongoing efforts of those entrepreneurs to stay alive and want them to survive, reduce operation costs and have choices in securing loans via alternative collateral.

The TCC then fully supports the initiative which is a collaboration between a leading retail business group and a commercial bank to strengthen SMEs' liquidity and offer them a sales channel," he said.

Under the scheme, the retailer will apply technology to help screen out and provide information to SMEs who are tenants as well as suppliers for the banks who will allow SMEs to place purchase orders to invoices as the collateral to secure new loans.

This will help to expedite the banks' loan consideration process while increasing the opportunity of SMEs to gain access to the loans, said Mr Sanan.

He cited the initiative in which Central Food Retail has partnered with Kasikornbank to launch a sandbox to boost the liquidity of SMEs with credit lines of less than 5 million baht.

Under the initiative, Central Food Retail gathered and provided names and information of more than 6,000 SMEs with trustworthy records for the bank's consideration in April.

Of the total, 1,000 SMEs under the scheme are expected to gain loan approval within this month.

According to Mr Sanan, the Thai Chamber also plans to talk with chief executives of all retail stores including the Mall Group, Robinson, Tops, 7-Eleven, Makro, Lotus, Big C and CJ Express to pursue similar efforts to boost the liquidity of SMEs.

The chamber expects such efforts will help more than 100,000 SMEs nationwide to acquire the soft loans within December this year.

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