BRI will not abandon micro, small and medium enterprises

Jakarta (Antara News) - State-run Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI) will not abandon the micro, small and medium enterprises sector, although it has entered the infrastructure sector and provides corporate credits, a director has said.

"Although we are now also dealing infrastructure including toll road development, we will give full support to micro, small and medium enterprises as we believed that reliable infrastructure smoothen the operation of businesses and the economy," BRI`s micro, small and medium enterprises director Sulaiman Arif Arianto told the Asian Bankers Summit 2007 here Sunday.

BRI, he said, is committed to allocating 80 percent of its total credits to micro, small and medium enterprises and the remaining 20 percent to corporations this year.

"Twenty pct of its credits covers the building of toll roads," he said.

Sulaiman said BRI will keep on developing its portofolio in the micro-financial sector.

"Today, the micro-financial sector has developed rapidly into a very dynamic and innovative financial sector. Many international financial institutions, banks, investors and donors have been actively eyeing the mic-rofinancial sector looking at it as a profitable investment portofolio," he said.

Asia, he said, is one of the regions in the world which has become a barometer of the world`s micro-financial industry.

"Micro-finance which originates from social activity to help less-fortunate people and poor farmers in rural areas has developed into a financial intermediation unit similar to a bank," he said.

BRI`s uniqueness in its micro-financial sector is that the bank deals with the non-bankable market segment including less-fortunate people, he said.

"The Asian Bankers Summit hopefully would make bankers more prepared for the micro-financial market," he said.

Data showed that only 15 percent of over 42 million micro, small and medium enterprises in Indonesia has access to financial services.

"These figures indicate that business people have good prospects in dealing with the micro-financial sector," Sulaiman said. (*)
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