The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the world’s largest free-trade agreement (FTA), came into force on January 1, 2022. To ensure that Thailand benefits from the mega-FTA, the third phase of a special lending campaign for SMEs has commenced to facilitate exports to RCEP countries.
Under the campaign, the Export-Import Bank of Thailand (EXIM Bank) has allocated 3 billion baht to issue loans to SMEs, micro SMEs and community enterprises. To be eligible, a business must be looking to export products to the RCEP market. A special interest rate of 2.75% will apply for the first year of the loan, after which the rate will be 5.75%. Each business can borrow no more than 50 million baht and each borrowing application will be completely processed within 7 days. The Thai Credit Guarantee Corporation (TCG) will guarantee each loan.
Commerce Minister JurinLaksanawisit said Thailand was among the core nations that pushed for the RCEP agreement. RCEP mandates that import tariffs among member countries be slashed to zero for 39,366 items. Although this currently only applies in 11 countries, Thai businesses have already made use of the export benefits granted by RCEP. Such export gains under RCEP are already valued in the hundreds of millions of baht.
According to Jurin, RCEP members Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines and Myanmar are formalizing the tariff waivers, which are expected to be observed by all 15 RCEP member nations by March of this year.
Businesses that would like to participate in the lending campaign for SMEs exporting to RCEP countries can contact any branch of EXIM Bank.(NNT)