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VCCI calls for lower loan rates for small firms   2008-09-24 - VNA

The Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) petitioned the Vietnam Banking Association on Sept 23 to discuss with its members the potential loan interest rate reduction for small enterprises.

Reducing loan interest rates is of great importance in the fight to curb inflation and stabilise the economy by helping firms expand their business and ensure social welfare, the VCCI said.

The chamber’s recent survey stated that with the current common lending interest rate hovering around 21 percent, over 73 percent of enterprises surveyed agreed capital access presented their biggest challenge.

It also revealed that the remaining months of this year would see a great demand for capital lending. Over 90 percent of household businesses had the greatest demand for capital, followed by 81.5 percent of State-owned firms, and 57.7 percent for foreign-invested firms.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) were reported to have been hurt the most by capital shortages due to limitations of scale and lack of mortgaged assets.

SMEs have a great demand for capital for their production and trading activities. However, bank loans are currently very difficult to obtain, said Cao Si Kiem, chairman of the Vietnam SNEs Association.

In addition to capital shortages, SMEs faced three other key problems including vocational training, business experience and equality, he said.

SMEs can only overcome these challenges if they have the Government’s support both in capital and administrative policy. In the current capital shortage situation, Kiem suggested SMEs should focus their investment on specific fields, avoid spreading investment and carefully consider establishing new projects.

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