Exim transformation loans approved

Entrepreneurs can submit their applications for an "Exim Biz transformation loan" until July 31 next year. Somchai Poomlard

The cabinet approved on Tuesday the state-owned Export-Import Bank of Thailand (Exim Bank) extending 5 billion baht in loans to entrepreneurs to upgrade their machinery and improve software.

Deputy government spokeswoman Rachada Dhnadirek said the "Exim Biz transformation loan" will be offered to entrepreneurs in chunks of 100 million baht each, with a loan term not exceeding seven years.

Interest rates are fixed at 2% a year for the first two years, the prime rate minus two percentage points for the third to fifth years, and at the prime rate for the sixth and seventh years. As of July this year, the prime rate was quoted at 5.75%.

Entrepreneurs are required to use this loan to improve their machinery, invest in new machines, or optimise the production process, including improving the digital software system in various industrial sectors.

The loan scheme covers entrepreneurs of all sizes in every industry, focusing on new target industries (S-curve) and those affected by Covid-19, such as food processing and agricultural processing, modern automotive, electronics, industrial robotics, digital, biofuels and biochemicals.

Entrepreneurs are permitted to submit their applications to Exim Bank until July 31 next year.

Exim Bank plans to issue bonds to raise funds to support its transformation loans.

In a separate development, a source from Government House who requested anonymity said the cabinet meeting on Tuesday also discussed the possibility of Thailand joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai, who chairs the International Economic Policy Committee and was tasked with preparing studies on CPTPP, told the meeting the government should join the pact because it could create great benefits for Thai industries.

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