OCCI calls for postponement of repayment of loans to SMEs


The Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) has highlighted the importance of deferring repayment of loans by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) free of charge until early next year. It will help develop the private sector as well as advance the economy.

In addition to ensuring business continuity, this would help them withstand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

OCCI underlined the importance of providing support programs to private sector institutions in general and to small and medium-sized enterprises in particular, to help these institutions overcome the challenges posed by the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis and to facilitate the recovery process of these establishments.

An event on the theme “Challenges and difficulties of SMEs in the light of economic changes” was organized by OCCI on April 17 under the auspices of Dr. Mahad bin Saeed Baween, Minister of Labour.

Eng. Rida bin Juma Al Saleh, Chairman of the Board of OCCI, said the issue of SMEs was important as they contributed greatly to global economies.

They represent approximately more than 90% of all businesses, employ 70% of the workforce and contribute 50% to the gross domestic product globally.

He said global economies recognize SMEs not only as a tool to create job opportunities, but as engines of economic growth and social development in addition to their role in driving innovation and competition. on the stairs.

He also said that we hope to provide support packages and facilities to private sector institutions in general and small and medium enterprises in particular.

The measures include persuading banks and finance companies to cooperate with affected borrowers, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, and rescheduling loans free of charge until early next year.

Dr. Abdul Aziz bin Muhammad Al Hinai, CEO of the Development Bank of Oman, said that over the past two years, due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the bank has granted close to 8,000 emergency loans to small investors as well as a package of “rescue loans” to small and medium enterprises in the form of “working capital”, repayable between 90 and 360 days.
He noted that most of these loans were granted to pay the institutions’ obligations for their continuity and overcoming challenges, and that the bank is planning new post-pandemic recovery plans.

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