Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) Gamal Negm said that the bank is well aware of the importance of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in achieving the country’s desired economic growth.
He pointed out that the CBE is currently conducting a survey to find out the needs and requirements of those working in these enterprises.
Negm also stressed the importance of listening to the needs of the owners of these enterprises. He added that financing is no longer the biggest challenge facing them, as they need non-financial technical support from banks and business unions.
During his participation in the conference on the future of SMEs on Sunday, Negm called on the banking sector — in cooperation with the Federation of Egyptian Industries (FEI) and the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (MSMEDA) — to provide programmes for non-financial technical support to enhance the capabilities of these companies to manage financial risks.
He also pointed out the importance of using technology to promote SMEs, adding that banks are allowed to finance micro and small projects with sales volumes of less than EGP 20m without obtaining approved financial statements.
Additionally, banks can use alternative data to evaluate customers through digital assessment models based on customer behaviours, their social data, and their financial and non-financial transactions, in addition to launching several initiatives to finance these projects at reduced interest rates in a number of important economic sectors.
Moreover, Negm explained that the programmes offered by the Credit Guarantee Company (CGC) played an active role in reducing banks’ concerns about the risks of financing SMEs and supporting them to export their products and access foreign markets.
He stressed that SMEs are the most vulnerable to risks during crises. Additionally, the repercussions of the coronavirus and its measures continue alongside the developments of the Russian-Ukrainian crisis and the resulting inflationary waves and disruptions in global supply chains.
These are the top challenges facing governments. Consequently, they affect distributors and suppliers, who are mostly SMEs.
“These challenges make it necessary for all of us to work together more than ever before and contribute to developing policies, procedures, and solutions necessary to overcome and mitigate the negative economic effects resulting from these inflationary waves, especially on SMEs,” said Negm.