Phnom Penh (VNA)Cambodia’s State-run Rural Development Bank has approved a 50 million USD credit package for local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that are operating in agriculture.

Speaking at a ceremony to announce the credit support package, Kao Thach, the bank’s Director General said more than 500,000 local SMEs could benefit from the fund to increase their productivity and improve their competitiveness.

He said enterprises can borrow up to 300,000 USD on each loan, with a six percent annual interest rate for loans used as working capital and 6.5 percent for that used for investment.

Cambodia Women Entrepreneurs Association President Eng Lykuong said the new fund will prove very useful for local SMEs, adding that a 300,000-USD loan can help an entrepreneur to take her business to the next level.

Meanwhile in Indonesia, President Joko Widodo said budgets earmarked for business trips and gatherings, which should be suspended due to the COVID-19 epidemic, can be used to help low-income locals, farmers, fishermen, as well as micro, small and medium sized enterprises.

Speaking at an online Cabinet meeting on March 16, Widodo said at least 40 trillion Rp (2.66 billion USD) initially prepared for business trips and officials' meetings, could be disbursed to the people to maintain their purchasing power.

He also asked relevant institutions to immediately start the disbursement of about 31.3 trillion Rp worth of government social assistance to low-income households through the Family Hope Programme./.