Wed, Jan 21, 2009 - Page 11 News List

MOEA seeks to aid struggling SMEs

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) activated a special mechanism yesterday that will identify small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) having operational difficulties and offer “rescue” services to companies in need.

The special project is part of the government’s “three-pillars policy” to help the country withstand the current recession, under which the government supports banks, banks support enterprises and enterprises support their workers.

At a ceremony marking the launch of the project yesterday, Premier Liu Chao-shiuan (劉兆玄) described the economic situation as a “disaster” and said the government needed to take action to “save victims of the disaster” as it did in September 1999 following a magnitude 7.3 earthquake that devastated central Taiwan.

The earthquake killed more than 2,400 and injured another 11,000, while destroying hundreds of thousands of buildings and homes.

Under the special two-year project, “care hotlines” will be set up in county and city governments around the country and firms suffering serious financial woes will be identified.

SMEs in need of help will be eligible to receive loans, technical support, marketing assistance and manpower as required from government “active service teams,” the ministry said.

The goal of the project is to survey more than 460,000 SMEs in the coming two years, it said.

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