Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ARDB set to hand SMEs $20M

ARDB set to hand SMEs $20M

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The $50 million fund released in March will provide low-interest loans to enterprises and entrepreneurs in the agricultural industry ranging between $10,000 and $300,000. Hean Rangsey

ARDB set to hand SMEs $20M

The state-owned Agricultural and Rural Development Bank (ARDB) will soon disburse $20 million in special credit as part of the $50 million they released in March in loans to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the agricultural sector.

Currently, ARDB has received 153 SME loan applications totalling around $20 million. ARDB has approved $500,000 of that amount and plans on accepting more applications, said its CEO Kao Thach.

“I think the loans will help a lot for farmers in the agricultural sector and we will continue to spread information to the locals so that they can access the loans,” he said.

The $50 million fund released in March will provide low-interest loans to enterprises and entrepreneurs in the agricultural industry ranging between $10,000 and $300,000.

The government has decided to cut the annual interest rates from six to five per cent for working capital and from 6.5 to 5.5 per cent for capital investment, without charges for services fee, it said in a press release on Tuesday.

It said it will adjust the maximum credit period from five years to seven years for investment capital while keeping a short-term maximum of two years for working capital.

But it will forbid borrowers who receive loans through this incentive to refinance them.

Unregistered SMEs can also apply for the credit, but they are required to register within one month of receiving the loan.

The government plans on expanding its credit scope to SMEs by encouraging them to use the technical services of Khmer Enterprise (KE) to facilitate their access to credit.

KE is an implementation unit of the Entrepreneurship Development Fund established by the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

An International Monetary Fund (IMF) report released in August said Cambodia’s female entrepreneurs continue to struggle because of limited access to finances for business expansion. Only three per cent have access to credit from microfinance institutions and banks.

The report estimates that the demand for credit from female entrepreneurs now stands at $4.2 billion, accounting for nearly 63 per cent of Cambodia’s $6.7 billion national budget for 2019.

A Ministry of Industry, Science, Technology and Innovation survey found that they needed help with market research and service development as well as packaging and technology adoption.

The survey also suggested that the entrepreneurs needed assistance with human resources, access to labour and finance, business registration, taxes and sanitation standards.


  • Cambodia armed with money laundering laws

    Money laundering will now carry a penalty of up to five years in prison while those convicted of financing terrorists will be jailed for up to 20 years, according to new laws promulgated by King Norodom Sihamoni and seen by The Post on Thursday. Comprising nine

  • Schools to be reopened in ‘three stages’

    With guidance from Prime Minister Hun Sen, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, is in the process of reopening schools in three stages. But no timeline has been set, ministry spokesperson Ros Soveacha said on Thursday. Soveacha said the first stage will be to

  • Thai border crossings eased

    The Cambodian Embassy in Thailand said in an announcement on Wednesday that Thailand’s government has allowed certain passengers from several countries to enter its borders. The visitors must go back to their country immediately after their duties in Thailand are fulfilled, the embassy said.

  • Gov’t says tourism recovers slightly despite pandemic

    The Ministry of Tourism and the Phnom Penh municipal administration have recognised 33 tourism businesses in the capital which have consistently implemented safety measures for tourists and adhered to the code of conduct issued by the ministry. Recently, the ministry announced that tourism businesses had to

  • Mull ASEAN border opening, PM urges

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that ASEAN launch a scenario for gradually reopening cross-border travel and trade between countries in the region. He said ASEAN has had more success combating Covid-19 compared to other regions. The prime minister’s request was made at the

  • Ministry reports 11 new Covid-19 cases, reiterates vigilance

    Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng has urged people to continue practising virus prevention techniques after 11 people tested positive for Covid-19 within two days after arriving in the Kingdom. Speaking on Sunday, Bun Heng stressed the importance of washing hands, wearing masks or scarves when

  • Nine on Indonesia flight Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health on Saturday confirmed nine more imported cases of Covid-19. The nine ‒ eight Cambodians and one Indonesian, aged 22 to 26 ‒ arrived in Cambodia on Thursday via a direct flight from Indonesia and are receiving treatment at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hostipal in Phnom Penh.

  • Kingdom’s financial sector healthy

    Cambodia's financial sector remains on a sustainable growth path despite the Covid-19 pandemic squeezing crucial industries, National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) governor Chea Chanto said. Tourism, garments and footwear have borne the brunt of the Covid-19 impact, he said, whereas the financial and agriculture sectors

  • Vietnam told to remove border tents

    Kandal provincial governor Kong Sophoan has ordered local authorities to prohibit the construction of buildings in areas bordering Cambodia and to report any irregularities immediately. Recently, Vietnamese officials removed another seven tents from the border area with Cambodia. His remarks were made on Wednesday afternoon

  • Migrant workers set to return from Malaysia

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation confirmed on Thursday that 158 Cambodian students and migrant workers will fly home from Malaysia on Friday morning. This is the second flight to bring Cambodians home from Malaysia. A ministry notice said Malaysia Airlines Flight MH754 will