Sunday, October 19, 2008

HK gov't strengthens support to SMEs

The Hong Kong SAR government is considering merging the loan guarantee for two sub-schemes under the small and medium enterprises funding schemes to ease the economic difficulties, a government spokesman said on Saturday.

The spokesman said with a view to strengthening support to the SMEs in the midst of the current financial turmoil, the government has proposed to introduce the some enhancement measures to improve the SME Funding Schemes.

The enhancement measures includes extending the maximum guarantee period for Working Capital Loan from 2 years to 5 years, increasing the indicative ceiling of guarantee exposure for each participating lending institution from 1.25 billion HK dollars to 1.5 billion HK dollars.

The government will also propose to allow each SME to recycle the guarantee once after it has fully paid up the loan backed up by the guarantee.

For Export Marketing Fund, the government proposes to increase the overall grant ceiling for each SME from 100,000 HK dollars to 150,000 HK dollars.

The spokesman added that the government will further elaborate the details of the enhancement measures in the Legislative Council Panel on Commerce and Industry to be held next Tuesday.

Subject to Members' views, the government will proceed to seek Finance Committee's approval to the aforesaid recommendations. Subject to the approval of Finance Committee, the government will implement the enhancement measures as soon as possible upon completion of the necessary legal procedures with the PLIs.

Source: Xinhua

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