Sat, October 16, 2021


TCC and deputy PM discuss easing access to soft loans for cash-strapped SMEs

The Thai Chamber of Commerce (TCC) said it had discussed its “Connect the Dots” plan to revitalise the economy in 99 days with Energy Minister and Deputy PM Supattanapong Punmeechaow and come up with three strategies to boost business.

The TCC will focus on boosting access to soft loans for liquidity-strapped companies while also easing regulations for doing business and accelerating vaccination in the private sector.

TCC chairman Sanan Angubolkul said many businesses, especially SMEs, have been forced to take high-interest informal loans as they cannot access soft loans from the government.

The chamber has teamed up with Central Retail Corp Plc (CRC) and Kasikornbank (KBank) to create a loan facility worth 5 billion baht for small suppliers of CRC.

Sanan said it had also urged the government to give financial institutions more freedom to exercise their discretion in extending business loans.

The Bank of Thailand should also consider unlocking debtors from credit scores or NPLs so they can access funding sources during the Covid-19 crisis, said Sanan.

The TCC approved two measures to boost SMEs' liquidity:

1. Reduce the credit term for SME suppliers (farmers, community enterprises, individuals) to 7-15 days, and 30 days for bigger suppliers.

2. First phase of 5-billion-baht soft loan programme covering 6,000 SMEs (1,000 approvals already given) through the Thai Bankers' Association, Thai Retailers Association and other allies. In the next phase, the TCC has set a target of delivering loans of up to 5 million baht to 500,000 SMEs nationwide within six months.

As for guidelines for economic recovery in the tourism and service sectors, the TCC is working on the “Hug Thais” project to stimulate domestic consumption and prepare for the country’s reopening to tourists next month under the Phuket sandbox scheme. The “Hug Thais Hug Phuket” project is expected to generate more than 270 billion baht over the next 6 months, accounting for 1.6 per cent of national GDP and supporting more than 2 million jobs.

Sanan said he also discussed the Ease of Doing Business Act with Deputy PM Supattanapong, focusing on its pledge of “Easier, Faster, and Cheaper”.

Published : June 10, 2021

By : The Nation