SMEs in line for B32bn of BCG-friendly soft loans

SMEs in line for B32bn of BCG-friendly soft loans

The Industry Ministry is joining the festive mood by preparing a New Year's gift of 32 billion baht in soft loans, meant to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that adopt the bio-, circular and green (BCG) economic model.

BCG, which focuses on environmentally friendly manufacturing and production techniques designed to add value to products, has increasingly attracted interest from the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) as it plans to further promote the concept at the FTI Expo next year.

Both the ministry and FTI agree that SMEs, which have been seriously affected by Covid-19, need financial support.

"The government wants to help local businesses that cannot access financial sources, but need money to increase their liquidity," said Industry Minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit.

The 32-billion-baht package will be divided between various projects to help different groups of SMEs, he said.

Among them is a 1-billion-baht soft loan for factory owners that produce products under the BCG concept.

Each owner can apply for a maximum loan of 15 million baht for a borrowing period of 10 years. The principal payments will be waived for 18 months, with an interest rate of 2% a year.

Ministry officials expect to start receiving loan applications next month.

Other soft loan projects include SME D Plus and two SME D projects, initiated to help customers of SME Development Bank.

Up to 15 billion baht in soft loans is allocated for borrowers in these projects.

These projects are aimed at helping SMEs restore their businesses and maintain employment, following the impact of the pandemic.

Each borrower can obtain loans worth between 15 million and 25 million baht, with an annual interest rate starting from 6%.

Loan approvals in this category are expected to reach more than 2,000 SMEs, help them maintain employment of 10,000 workers and generate 60 billion baht in economic value, according to the ministry.

The FTI expects its expo to help generate economic value worth more than 1 billion baht, said Supant Mongkolsuthree, chairman of the FTI.

Scheduled for Chiang Mai on Feb 2-6, the event has more than 400 companies scheduled to attend, showcasing industrial products, updates on new technologies and promoting business matching, he said. The expo highlights BCG as a way to promote sustainable growth, said Kriengkrai Thiennukul, vice-chairman of the FTI.

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