Industry Minister pledges B2bn in SME support
PATONG: Industry Minister Pongsak Raktapongpaisan announced yesterday that the Office of Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion (OSMEP) has earmarked 2 billion baht from its Venture Capital Fund to buy between 10% and 49% interest in tsunami-affected SMEs in order to provide much-needed cash flow.
There will be no interest levied on the capital injection nor will the OSMEP claim any share of profits from the companies that join the project.
However, the companies that opt to sell shares to the OSMEP must buy back the stake in the company no more than seven years from the date the stock was transferred.
K. Pongsak added that the OSMEP has deployed four mobile units on a six-month mission to provide assistance to SMEs in Phuket, Ranong, Krabi and Phang Nga.
At the Baan Sukhothai Hotel, where the headquarters for the mobile units has been set up, K. Pongsak said, “I will do my best to take care of business people, and if they are not satisfied with our efforts they can contact me at the Industry Minister’s office in Bangkok.”
K. Pongsak’s Bangkok office number is Tel: 02-2023100-3.
Officers manning the four mobile clinics will offer advice on business matters at places including Provincial Halls, Provincial Industrial Offices, banks, business associations, and tsunami rescue centers throughout the four provinces.
Krivuthichai Treekrutapan, Chief Financial Officer and partner of the Best Western Palm Galleria Resort at Khao Lak, which was scheduled to open on December 31 but suffered some 50% damage in the tsunami, said, “I think the government is going about this the right way, and it’s good to see that the Industry Minister is willing to deal with problems himself.”
However, he added, “But I would like to know how to contact the main office co-ordinating this project because there many government offices offering to help SMEs in trouble after the tsunami.”
Yupin Taweesith, Vice-President of the Phuket Provincial Northeastern Club and a beach sun lounger operator who lost some 80 sun loungers costing more than 2 million baht, destroyed by the tsunami, told the Gazette, “I agree and I am glad that the Office of SME Promotion is helping SMEs, but it should not levy a high rate of interest.”
SME operators may contact the mobile unit headquarters at the Baan Sukhothai Hotel at Tel: 076-340195-6 ext. 521, 06-2764742, 07-2807913, 04-8435527, 04-8415389 or 04-8397250.
The main office of the OSMEP is at 17th floor, 21 Wipawadee-Rangsit Rd, Chatuchak, Bangkok 10900. Tel: 02-2788800 Fax: 02-2738850. Email: email@example.com; Website: https://www.sme.go.th/
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