TCG urged to focus efforts on SMEs

TCG urged to focus efforts on SMEs

Enterprises in BCG sector to take priority

Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith has directed Thai Credit Guarantee Corporation (TCG) to focus more on guarantees for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the bio-, circular and green (BCG) sector, which the government is promoting as the country's new sustainable growth engine.

He added that he wants TCG guarantees to shape SMEs' future direction and to be in line with the government's policy of promoting the BCG economic model.

The minister said that SMEs can also move into the BCG sector, as it was not just for large companies.

There are around 3 million SMEs in Thailand, accounting for one-third of the country's GDP.

Mr Arkhom said the BCG model can be divided into three major groups -- those involved with environmental protection or conserving energy, those in the areas of healthcare or the elderly, and those using digital technology.

TCG president Sittikorn Direksoonthorn said that last year TCG provided guarantees to 220,000 SMEs in all categories, of which 72% were in the vulnerable group which had trouble obtaining loans from financial institutions.

The corporation's outstanding guarantees stand at 1.3 trillion baht. Its guarantees have helped around 740,000 SMEs access loans from financial institutions, which have generated economic activity of around 5.7 trillion baht.

In a separate matter, Mr Arkhom said that the amount of money granted under the fifth phase of the "Khon La Khrueng" co-payment scheme was appropriate.

The new phase of the scheme, which was recently approved by the cabinet, will provide each recipient with a maximum of 800 baht during September and October. A recipient can use no more than 150 baht from the handout per day.

Mr Arkhom added that the subsidy needed to be lower than the previous phase, in line with the recovering economy and rebounding purchasing power. At the same time, the government has also rolled out measures to ease the rising cost of living as a result of the energy price spikes.

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