Vietnamese SMEs struggle to access credit support package
Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are finding it difficult to access the Government's credit package worth US$10.7 billion to support those affected by the COVID-19 outbreak because of a lack of trust in their ability to repay.
Small- and medium-sized enterprises are facing difficulties trying to access the government's credit package of VND250 trillion (US$10.7 billion) to support those affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Government has been issuing many policies to help businesses overcome difficulties, but the latter's access to preferential capital faces obstacles.
Preferential policies related to corporate income tax, value-added tax and personal income tax are among the measures that are being taken to help businesses stay afloat through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Other policies include reduction in bank loan rates, permission to delay repayment of loans, and reduction of social insurance and health insurance contributions.
Following the instruction of the Prime Minister and the State Bank, on April 1, a series of banks announced credit packages and reduced lending rates, while some banks decreased rates by 4.5 per cent per year and also offered lower interest rates on existing loans.
Banks are also beginning to offer specific solutions to their customers. Employees are sent directly to businesses to survey difficulties, restructure debts, or offer preferential loan interest rates.
However, SMEs and start-ups are having difficulty accessing credit support packages because banks are assessing the creditworthiness of each case according to common standards. They are still requiring collateral from borrowers.
These businesses do not have real estate as collateral because the premises are mostly rented. Requiring businesses to have real estate as collateral to borrow capital is difficult in the present time, according to experts.
Banks have a shortage of trust in credit relationships with SMEs. Some SMEs have not built up trust with banks in terms of their financial situation, thus making them ineligible for loans, experts said.
Dang Hong Anh, chairman of the Young Vietnamese Entrepreneurs Association, said that in addition to the issuance of exemption and reduction policies, the Government and ministries should continue with administrative procedure reform, and enhance the application of information technology to create more favourable conditions for enterprises to access financial support.
Enterprises are expecting the Government to focus on solutions to quickly control tax reductions, as well as tax and rental cost exemptions.
Raw material prices need to be stabilised, and inspections and examination activities should be stopped during this time. Inflation should also be kept under control.
The Government could create conditions for private enterprises, especially SMEs, to participate more in the public expenditures of the State. — VNS
Experts warn that businesses suffering the most may not be able to access the VND285 trillion aid package because they cannot prove solvency.
VietinBank and Agribank will provide credit packages worth 60 trillion VND ($2.5 million) and 100 trillion VND respectively to support customers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.