Preferential financial sources help SMEs recover from COVID-19: Experts hinh anh 1Phan Le Ha, a financial expert of USAID LinkSME, speaks at the event (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Representatives from associations, commercial banks, international organisations and businesses gathered at a virtual conference in Hanoi on September 30 to discuss preferential financial sources to aid small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)' recovery amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event was co-organised by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), the Enterprise Development Agency under the Ministry of Planning and Investment, and the US Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Linkages for Small and Medium Enterprises (LinkSME) project. 

According to a survey conducted by the VCCI showed that the current biggest concerns of SMEs are difficulties caused by the narrowing of markets, capital and credit depletion due to high production costs, and the burden of COVID-19 testing and ensuring the lives of workers when implementing pandemic-prevention requirements.

In response, the Government and competent agencies have conducted a series of solutions and supporting policies to help firms overcome such obstacles.

The Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV) has coordinated with the SME Development Fund to offer businesses a number of loans with preferential interest rates.

In addition, the USAID LinkSME project with the participation of many commercial banks have created more information channels to facilitate firms in accessing different resources.

Daniel Fitzpatrick, Director of USAID LinkSME, said recent positive news in Hanoi on the authorities’ determination to push back the pandemic heighten the hope for a brighter future.

Phan Le Ha, a financial expert of USAID LinkSME, said developing the ability to access finance will open up many opportunities for businesses to approach financial sources, helping them maintain production and business activities even in the most difficult times. 

In 2021, USAID LinkSME launched many training programmes to assist firms in improving their financial management capacity. These programmes worked with banks to build a team of experts offering direct support for businesses regarding loan document preparation or loan restructuring during the current difficult period. They also ran activities and events involving financial sources so that businesses could access more information from credit funds./.