Fiji Development Bank launches sustainability package for SMEs

The Acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General, Hon Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum launched the Fiji Development Bank’s (FDB) Small and Medium Enterprise Sustainability Package yesterday. The facility is specifically designed to expand, refurbish and maintain existing SMEs.

While officiating the launch, the Acting PM commended the development bank for creating financial solutions for SMEs that employ about 60 percent of the country’s labour force.

“The Fijian Government gives utmost importance to this sector as SMEs will form a fundamental part of our economic recovery post-pandemic.”

Hon Sayed-Khaiyum highlighted that the government has provided various forms of assistance to help businesses affected by COVID. He said this initiative by FDB contributes to the overall objective of creating an environment for the business community to reposition themselves so they can take advantage of the rebalancing of the economy.

FDB Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr. Saud Minam reiterated that the growth of SMEs is essential for job creation, income generation, poverty alleviation, rural development, and the empowerment of youth and women, especially now when the economy is recovering from the impact of the pandemic

Minam said the package is designed considering the significant contributions of SMEs to Fiji’s economy.

“We understand the challenges that our SMEs have had to face during these unprecedented times and with the launch of this package, we hope to provide you with the means to sustain and further grow your businesses.”

“FDB’s core business segments are small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and agriculture. I am happy to share with you that 83% of the Bank’s customer base is amongst these two categories – 45% is the SME customer base while 38% is agriculture,” said Minam.

The CEO stated that the Bank is offering a minimum of $5000 to a maximum loan of $50,000 with a loan term of 5 years under this facility.

Any Businesses/Farmer(s)/ Joint Venture/ Cooperative, Partnership, and Company who has a total turnover of less than $1,250,000 annually and has been in operation for a minimum of 2 years are eligible for this loan facility.

“We are pleased to announce that we have waived the loan application fees of $50 for this package. Our customers do not have to worry about paying this fee with their applications – you just have to submit your application and the outcome will be communicated to you via emails.”

Minam said the Business Assistance Fiji (BAF) is the supporting partner under this facility.

“One of our pre-qualification requirements for this facility is the Compliance Certificate which will be provided by BAF. The good news here is that the cost of obtaining the compliance certificate – which is from $200 to $500, will not be borne by the customer. This will be taken care of by BAF.”

“I acknowledge BAF’s partnership and commitment to assisting this important sector of our economy,” Minam added.

Application for this facility will commence on the 7th of March. Full details about the Package will be available on our website from the same date.

Acting Prime Minister Hon Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum with FDB Board Members, FDB CEO, and representatives from various sectors.