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KE, CMA liaise on financial access for SMEs, start-ups

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Cambodia Microfinance Association (CMA) executive director Phal Vandy (left) and Khmer Enterprise (KE) CEO Chhieng Vanmunin sign the memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Friday. CMA

KE, CMA liaise on financial access for SMEs, start-ups

The Cambodia Microfinance Association (CMA) and state-owned Khmer Enterprise (KE) have entered into a partnership aimed at improving access to finance for entrepreneurs and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME) in the Cambodian ecosystem.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed to that end on November 26 at the CMA’s Annual Microfinance Conference 2021 between the association’s executive director Phal Vandy and Chhieng Vanmunin, CEO of KE, a unit under the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

Vanmunin said the partnership seeks to provide local start-ups and SMEs with access to financial information concerning rates and relevant fees, risks, and available financial instruments.

He said the government “has many policies to create additional funds in the financial system and to relax compulsory criteria for financial institutions”.

“However, it is ultimately up to the financial institutions to pass down those benefits to SMEs and start-ups in Cambodia.”

The CMA’s Vandy suggested that the Kingdom’s fast-growing economy provides evidence that SMEs and start-ups have become increasingly important sources of employment and engines of economic growth.

Microfinance has helped in poverty alleviation in recent decades, he said, adding that the sector has shifted from exclusively serving the poor to providing others with all types of financial needs.

“The MoU between CMA and KE will tighten the relation of the two sectors, ensuring better financial services to SMEs and start-ups.

“The microfinance sector has been working closely with the government to support SMEs. CMA has played crucial roles in recent initiatives of SME Bank and Credit Guarantee Cooperation of Cambodia, both of which aim solely at boosting” smaller businesses, he said.

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