The PMA and the EU organize the second working group on SME finance

Ramallah/PNN/

The PMA in coordination with the EU organized the second working group on SME finance affiliated to the EU Palestine Investment platform.

In the presence of the Deputy Governor of the PMA Mr. Mohammed Manasrah and Mr. Charles RAUDOT DE CHATENAY the EU Representative, in addition to the representatives from the Ministry National Economy, Palestinian Investment Fund, Capital Market Authority, Palestinian Banks Association, Banks, Guarantees, MFIs, and other International Institutions were invited.

The meeting discussed the form of assistance in financing SMEs by the EU, Member states, European financial Institutions with the PMA efforts through the second phase of the Istidama program and the outlines criteria used for the standard definition of SMEs, plus comparing the final version with the current multiple standards, discussing banks concerns about credit risk, guarantee providers default operating in Palestine, presenting the available guarantee tools and technical assistance that enhance the access of SMEs to finance.

The meeting included a presentation about Monshati Platform that was launched recently by the PMA in cooperation with its partners, the services provided by the platform to build SMEs capabilities, and to facilitate the access of SMEs to financing sources.

The participants concluded many points, most notably working on providing more funding to encourage development and speed up the recovery pace from COVID 19 effects, coordinating efforts between all parties and partners in financing policies especially with regard to capacity building for project owners and providing free training and technical assistance, developing new financial services especially for marginalized areas, Gaza strip, and Area C, these services work to address the gap imbalances between funding sources and its uses, these services form an investment opportunity for bankers and guarantees in terms of helping to provide job opportunities and encourage improvement in economic growth rates, stressing the importance of coordinating efforts between guarantees and loan institutions though designing specific loan programs.

It should be mentioned that the first working group about SMEs finance affiliated to the EU Investment Fund, was held 5 months ago, financing condition of SMEs, priorities, future policies, legal frameworks that must be initiated to enhance access to finance and expand the scope of SMEs benefits, identifying the required and planned interventions were discussed in the first meeting.

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