Reforming SME competitiveness plan 'could boost access to finance in Algeria'

Jan 19, 2012

An Algerian employers union has called for a review of the government plan 2010-2014 on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), aimed at making firms more competitive on the international market, partly through improving their access to finance, Les Afriques newspaper reports.

Algeria introduced this plan in July 2010, targeting 20,000 SMEs with a budget of 380 billion dinars (€3.9 billion) of public resources distributed through direct funding or via better interest rates for SMEs on bank loans.

The FCE union believes the results of this scheme are not living up to expectations, stating just 400 companies were interested in the changes and only a dozen actions have been introduced.

It says, in a document addressed to the government quoted by the news source, that "to offer the best chances of success to the new plan, the number of targeted companies should be around 5,000. The primary objective is to see champions emerge".

The FCE proposal also aims at increasing the level of government help allocated to the different actions, including improving interest rates on bank loans.

This comes several days after a conference was held on the MEDA II cooperation plan between the European Union and Algeria, APS news agency reports.

With a budget of more than €34 million, this plan will offer innovations in the SME finance product sector.ADNFCR-2976-ID-801268680-ADNFCR