Thailand’s government plans to launch a new package of small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) support measures, of which soft loans and Board of Investment (BoI) incentives could be integral parts. The BoI is considering investment privilege for SMEs, while the Bank of Thailand and Government Savings Bank are mulling soft loans to alleviate SMEs’ financial costs, said Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana. The Finance Ministry has delegated the Comptroller-General’s Department to find a way to offer incentives to SMEs to take part in state auctions without distoring the market mechanism.
Offering privileges to support establishment of matching funds to invest in SMEs is also under consideration, Uttama said. Investment stimulus measures for SMEs are a means to boost the economy, in addition to an acceleration of state agencies’ and enterprises’ investment budget disbursement, he said.
Amid the sagging economy, most SMEs are in need of fresh funding, which has prompted the government to step up efforts to help them by rolling out aid measures. The assistance package consists of various measures, including credit guarantees, low-rate loans and relaxation of regulations associated with SME debt restructuring to match SMEs’ characteristics, classified into three groups: those who want to access financial sources but cannot, those whose debts have turned sour, and those who can access financial institution lending but need additional liquidity.