Minister urges SMEs to register

An SME’s lathe.

Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) must be registered to get benefits like loan disbursement, said Maung Myint, the union minister for industry.

There are more than 46,000 registered SMEs across the country. That number is estimated to reach 50,000 soon despite the closure of some unsuccessful SMEs, he added.

“Some SMEs face closure but the overall number will increase. We inform SMEs via daily newspapers of the need to register. Thanks to it, they will have to get some opportunities, especially through the loan schemes. They would get protection from our SMEs offices,” he said.

The government has planned to offer a Ks30 billion in loans to SMEs. According to the latest figures, loan disbursement to SMEs amount to Ks3.6 billion. They asked the states to offer more loans, as this amount was insufficient, he said.

Set Aung, vice-governor of the Central Bank of Myanmar, said: “Myanmar lacks financial sources for SMEs. And SMEs have little collateral so they want to take loans. How can they get them? They can take them from friends, relatives and banks as well as from other financial institutions. Other financial sources are very few. It is impossible to get money by issuing bonds. The stock market is only just beginning. Our banks are not in a position to satisfy the demand.”