To promote better financial access among female-led small and medium-sized enterprises, a US$75 million loan fund has been agreed upon. The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Viet Nam Prosperity Joint Stock Commercial Bank (VPBank) signed the deal on Thursday to promote financial inclusiveness.
The loan is part of a drive on overseas loans and investments with ASEAN members, announced by the Government of Japan in 2019, entitled "Facility for Accelerating Finance Inclusion in Asia:FAIA".
Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) account for 98.7 per cent of the total number of enterprises in Viet Nam, 45 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product and attract 63 per cent of employment. However, their access to finance is limited. This access to finance is a particularly big hindrance for women-led SMEs.
In accordance with the initiative “2X Challenge: Financing for Women” launched by the financial institutions of G7 countries, JICA will provide more than 30 per cent of the total loan for women-owned enterprises through VPBank.
The loan will contribute to Viet Nam’s sustainable economic growth and sustainable development goals on gender equality, building resilient infrastructure, and fostering a global partnership for sustainable development.
VPBank has been engaged for many years on improving financial access for small enterprises, as a financial member of the Japanese ODA Loan for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Finance Project 2009.
Since 2019, JICA has been supporting the enhancement of women's financial access in Viet Nam through a technical cooperation project and the Viet Nam Women's Union. — VNS
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