Trade Commerce and Industry Minister Wera Mori said the project has created a platform to enhance the loan underwriting standards to achieve positive results.
Mr Mori said under this platform, the bank has so far approved 254 SME loans worth K16 million for the Highlands region, 413 for Momase (K21m) , 299 for New Guinea Islands (K17m) , 77 for Southern (K5m) and 351 for NCD(K20m).
He said the K79 million in loans being lent have resulted in SMEs creating new jobs and income opportunities for Papua New Guineans, which is in line with the government’s overall policy direction under the SME policy and the master plan to create 300,000 new SMEs with 2-million new jobs.
“The Medium Term Development Plan also identifies poverty alleviation through SME employment and income generation.
“Therefore, we will continue to support this policy objective by working along with our key development partners and stakeholders,” he said.
Mr Mori said the PNG SME access to finance project under the department has partnered with the World Bank and its stakeholders and provides capacity building to provincial commerce divisions throughout the country, trained-36 business development officers in 22 provinces and trained 774 SMEs over the last five years.
“Today we acknowledge and witness another milestone achieved by Bank South Pacific in the successful rollout of the loan originating platform to enhance loan underwriting standards.
“I thank Mr Fleming and his senior management team for successfully rolling out the loan originating system, the Lendfast software throughout BSP network of branches.
It gives me great confidence to work with your team of staff from the SME Smart Business Unit for working tirelessly to ensure the loan originating system is fully rolled out,” he said.
Other partners who supported in the roll out include World Bank, International Finance Corporation, Department of Treasury and National Planning.