Of the 40,000 registered SME owners, less than 1 percent are taking loans offered by the state-run Small and Medium Industrial Development Bank (SMIDB), Daw Yee Yee Khine, director of the SME Development Department at the Ministry of Industry, said.
“The government provided loan support for the development of SMEs in 2012 and also in 2014. Loans were allocated for every state and region including Naypyitaw.
“However, as of May 1, just over 300 SME owners were provided loans,” she said.
The last official data was published in March, with 237 loans issued, totalling K6.9 billion at an interest rate of 8.5 percent.
A Mandalay-based SME owner told Myanmar Business Today, “We do not wish to borrow from the government since it is not easy to get the loan, so we decided to operate the business with our own capital. Also, a loan is a kind of liability.”
Furthermore, there are over 40,000 unregistered SME owners, according to Dr Than Htun, chairman of SMIDB.
Singapore and Vietnam have already offered loans to SMEs. Authorisation was attained from the Central Bank of Myanmar to get the aid from Singapore, while the Vietnamese aid is awaiting approval.