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Bangkok Post
Bangkok Post

Arkhom launches SME lending initiative

Finance Minister Arkom Termpittayapaisith (Bangkok Post file photo)

The government is ready to relax the rules to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) access loans from financial institutions more easily, says Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith.

His ministry also supports the use of digital technology to help SMEs expand their businesses, Mr Arkhom said on Thursday at an event launching a digital supply chain finance project.

The event was co-hosted by the Thai Bankers' Association (TBA), the Finance Ministry, the Bank of Thailand (BoT), the Federation of Thai Industries, the Board of Trade of Thailand and the Thai Retailers Association.

Mr Arkhom said the digital supply chain finance platform will be a key driver of economic growth next year.

The central bank, in collaboration with the private sector, launched the digital supply chain finance project for businesses to provide them with greater access to finance.

BoT governor Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput said the central bank and private companies implemented this as a digital loan project for businesses.

Digital supply chain finance is part of the central bank's Smart Financial and Payment Infrastructure for Business project, aiming to further develop the country's digital financial infrastructure.

This project will involve moving from paper-based trading to a digital system, covering e-invoices, e-tax invoices and e-payments for businesses.

The central bank and related parties recently developed the country's national e-payment project under the PromptPay platform, which has resulted in the growth of the country's digital payments and money transfers. Since then, the BoT has developed the Smart Financial project.

"PromptPay is the country's game changer in digital payments for consumers, and the Smart Financial project will be a game changer in digital payments for businesses," Mr Sethaput said.

Payong Srivanich, chairman of the TBA, said the digital supply chain finance solution would open up opportunities for SMEs to access more bank loans via information-based lending.

The banks will develop loan analysis by using alternative data rather than traditional documents and loan collateral when approving financial facilities for SME businesses.

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