Loan for SMEs raised to $1.9 billion: Turkish PM

Loan for SMEs raised to $1.9 billion: Turkish PM

İZMİR – Anadolu Agency
Loan for SMEs raised to $1.9 billion: Turkish PM

The volume of a loan catering to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Turkey has been raised, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said on March 31. 

The “breather” loan has been increased to 7.5 billion Turkish Liras ($1.9 billion) from 5 billion liras ($1.25 billion), Yıldırım said, at the loan signing ceremony in the Aegean İzmir province.

He added that the initiative would benefit SMEs greatly.

The package for the loan, in collaboration with the Credit Guarantee Fund, Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges, lenders Ziraat Bank, Akbank, Vakıfbank and Denizbank, was introduced in late 2016 to revive the economy. The loan started being utilized by SMEs last year.

Yıldırım said Turkey became the fastest-growing country in the world with an economic growth rate of 7.4 percent last year.

“We are breaking our own record [of economic growth rate]. Turkey will continue to grow, develop and produce, with its private and public sectors and practicable policies by taking firm steps,” the premier said.

He said economic incentives and measures would be disclosed to the public next week.

The loan became an important component of Turkey’s economic growth last year, said Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Şimşek.

“Turkey generated 1.6 million jobs last year with the backing of this loan,” he said.

Şimşek noted that access to finance was the biggest problem SMEs faced, which comprised 99.8 percent of all businesses in Turkey.

“The loan package especially gives small-sized enterprises breathing space through working capital,” he added.

The deputy prime minister said they would introduce a new funding system for startup tech companies.