Minister of Economic Development Fayyaz Ismail on late Monday revealed that, over the previous four months, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Maldives requested for loans worth more than USD 1 billion.
The Economic Minister, in his opening speech at the national craftsmanship exhibition 'Fannu Expo' held at the National Art Gallery in capital city Male', asserted that since its inception the government-run SME Development Finance Corporation (SDFC) is providing ease to Maldives craftsmanship businesses.
Noting that many remain skeptical, leveling criticism and scrutiny against the financial institution he said, "The challenges we face are due to the unexpectedly high demand and a current inability to cater for it. In terms of applications received, there is an increase of MVR 100 million each month", said Fayyaz.
He declared that although the institution might not be able to provide finance for every loan application, it is set to expand within the upcoming five years to extensively provide financial aid to businesses.
Minister Fayyaz assured lenient screening processes for loans.
Economic Ministry has also revealed plans to erect five additional business centres prior to the year-end.
In addition, he announced that new low-cost workspaces, storage, and packing facilities would be operational in 2020.