The Ministry of Planning and Finance, Myanma Economic Bank and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) jointly organised the JICA SME Two-Step Loan Seminar held from 16 to 18 January at the Horizon Lake View Resort in Nay Pyi Taw.
At the seminar, officials from six private banks that are providing loans to SME business owners participated in the discussions.
“The main aim is for bankers to know the good practices of the SME systems and the emergence of banks that can support the SMEs. Most of the businesses in Myanmar are SMEs. Therefore, if SMEs develop, Myanmar economy will also develop. The SMEs have to be supported for SMEs to develop. How to support them? Primarily the support will be in the financial sector. The SMEs will still face many difficulties even when the support is provided. Banks will also have weaknesses in supporting the SMEs. That is why projects like this are conducted to discuss how banks can support SMEs”, said Japan Economic Research Institute Senior Consultant Mr. Yoshiyuki Oba.
Agriculture and livestock breeding business owner U Thet Lwin said he learnt a lot from the seminar.
“Before I knew about SMEs, I was doing on my own what I thought was best. I will carry on with what I learnt from this seminar. I learnt about the importance of SMEs and how to conduct business by linking up with the banks”, U Thet Lwin said.
Japan Economic Research Institute Executive Managing Officer Mr. Toshiyuki Katagiri said that yesterday, the final day discussion, SME business owners were invited through the banks to participate in the seminar.
“Discussions were held on a business plan that both the SME business owners and banks need to understand. Discussions were held for how bankers and businesses taking loans hold discussions based on a business plan. The first two days’ discussion was on how to study and assess a company (SME) and how to assess the financial facts submitted by the companies (SMEs)”, Mr. Toshiyuki Katagiri said.
As knowledge and business acumen increases, so will the number and amount of loans available through banks, said U Than Soe of Myanma Economic Bank.
“We started in March 2016. At the moment, loans were made to 12 out of 14 States/Regions and Nay Pyi Taw council. The loans were made mainly to worker-based production works, retail and wholesale businesses. A maximum loan up to Ks500 million is being provided with an interest rate of 8.5 per cent. SME businesses that want to take the loans need to be in accord with the SME Development Law. This year, we’ll try to provide loans widely to Nay Pyi Taw (Council), Kayah State and Kachin State, where loans were not previously made.”
By Myo Myint &
Myo Thu Hein