Over 60 students from Pham Van Hinh secondary school explored how Ho Dynasty Citadel was built at a specialised educational room that opened in Vinh Loc district, the central province of Thanh Hoa on May 19.
Workers package processed food at Dai An Fisheries Import-Export and Processing Joint Stock Company. A small-and-medium-sized enterprises development fund is planned by the State to provide SMEs preferential loans with low interest loans and other support. — VNA/VNS Photo Tran Viet.
The plan has been written according to the spirit of Decree No 56/2009/ND-CP issued by the Prime Minister in 2009.
The Decree outlines policies and support from the State for SMEs.
If the plan is approved, the fund would likely begin its lending activities for SMEs next year.
Under the plan, preferential loans would be equivalent to 70 per cent of total investment capital of projects. However, total value would not exceed VND30 billion.
Terms of loans would be fixed in a way that is appropriate to borrowers'payment ability and project conditions, but they would not be beyond seven years.
Interest rates on loans from the fund would not exceed 80 per cent of the rates of ordinary loans being applied by commercial banks.
The fund's capital is expected to be raised from the State Budget about VND500 billion (US$24 million) for each of the first two years of its operation, and VND1 trillion ($48 million) for the third year.
It also aims to attract legal financial sources from overseas individuals and organisations including Official Development Assistance (ODA), and capital sources entrusted by domestic and overseas individuals and organisations to support the development of SMEs.
SMEs that can access preferential loans from the fund would have projects or development programmes involved in industries that are given investment priorities by the Government.
The loans would help them develop production and trading activities and improve competitive ability.
Le Quoc Khanh, director of the Nam Ha Joint Stock Company, said the establishment of the SME development fund was good news for SMEs since many of them were facing difficulties, particularly in capital shortage.
As for policy, the Government always encourages banks to support SMEs.
However, the latter now applies a common interest rate level so most banks give credit priority to major enterprises.
Major enterprises need large amounts of capital and little is left over to lend to smaller companies, according to senior economic expert Pham Chi Lan.
MPI's Enterprises Development Department, citing study results, said that a SME development fund was necessary as SMEs were facing many capital-related problems.
The submitted proposal includes results from a survey of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which showed that 80 per cent of SMEs did not receive credit support.
Although the Credit Guarantee Fund at many localities was set up in 2002 only a few SMEs have had access to this financial source.
High lending interest rates and difficult lending conditions are the biggest obstacles that have prevented SMEs from bank loans, while most SMEs expect to have easier access to loans from credit organisations.
A representative of the Enterprises Development Fund said that if the SME Development Fund was established, it would create an additional financial channel for SMEs in addition to current traditional sources.
The fund would also be a State-owned, large-scale financial institution designated in ways to ensure that it can gather financial sources to support SMEs at home and abroad in line with the laws. — VNS