Thailand: Industry Ministry to suspend small firms’ debts

  • The Industry Ministry plans to roll out rescue measures by suspending debt payments for 6-12 months for small community enterprises for several industries. The measure covers businesses in food, drinks, herbs, jewellery, souvenirs and clothing. Local producers can apply for debt suspension in Apr 20.
  • The Industrial Promotion Department under the Industry Ministry has extended loans to 2,500 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and community enterprises through a revolving fund for household industries and handicrafts. The fund covers 77 provinces with a total credit limit of THB370mn and a THB200,000 limit per person.
  • Some 771 businesses are eligible for the debt suspension, including 557 already making normal payments that can suspend the debt for 12 months valued at THB134mn.
  • A debtor who has been late on payment for three months can suspend the debt for six months. About 94 businesses, with a total of THB43.9bn in debt, are eligible.
  • Nattapol Rangsitpol, director-general of the Industrial Promotion Department, said SMEs and community enterprises are the backbone of the economy and account for 80% of the country’s GDP, boosting employment and income distribution in local economies.
  • Since 2017, the government has provided THB20bn in soft loans under the Pracha Rat fund, aimed at helping SMEs.
  • Earlier in 2020, the Industry Ministry expected to spend THB800mn to develop and support SMEs and community enterprises in Thailand in 2020.
  • The Industrial Promotion Department is primarily focused on local farms that the government wants to transform from traditional agriculture to modern methods through tech and innovation under Thailand 4.0.

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