SINGAPORE: Singaporean companies wishing to develop solutions to reduce waste and greenhouse gas emissions may find it easier to access financing through a new government program.
Under the new business finance program – Green, the government will provide a 70 percent risk share for loans made by participating financial institutions to local businesses that fall under the following categories, Enterprise Singapore said in a statement from press Sunday October 3.
These are project developers, system integrators, as well as technology and solution enablers in the clean energy, circular economy, green infrastructure and clean transport sectors.
For example, project developers refer to local businesses that develop, manufacture, build and operate capital-intensive green projects that incorporate proprietary engineering, technologies or solutions with a “positive environmental impact”.
Enterprise Singapore said the new financing program covers a range of financing needs, including development capital, fixed assets, trade, projects, risk debt and mergers and acquisitions.
It is effective from this month to the end of March 2024.
This follows the announcement of the company’s sustainability program on Friday.
The program, administered by Enterprise Singapore, aims to help local businesses build their capacity in the area of sustainability in order to seize the opportunities of the green economy.
The new Green Corporate Finance Program is an enhancement of the existing Corporate Finance Program, which currently expands financial assistance to businesses in six areas, such as the daily operational cash flow needs of SMEs and business needs.
Enterprise Singapore CEO Png Cheong Boon said demand for green solutions will increase globally.
The new program will therefore help “green technology innovators in Singapore to have easier access to green finance, in order to create ever-evolving and constantly improving solutions,” he added.
“These companies are pushing new boundaries and carrying additional risks in enabling technologies for the transition to a green economy. This in turn will help other companies adopt green solutions and seize opportunities globally, ”Png said.
The Enterprise Financing Scheme-Green will be supported by partner financial institutions including DBS, HSBC, OCBC and UOB.
These institutions have developed green and sustainable financing frameworks for SMEs and enterprises, endorsed by recognized consultants from the Monetary Authority of Singapore, Enterprise Singapore said.
Representatives of partner banks praised the new funding program, UOB’s commercial banking group leader Eric Tham noting that it offers a full range of banking facilities and comes as sustainability is a “global imperative “.
The OCBC said it had seen “strong interest” from SMEs looking to launch and accelerate their green efforts over the past two years, despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The launch of the EFS-Green program is timely and we believe it will enable many SMEs to benefit from green loans to develop new capabilities, tap new markets and differentiate their products and services,” said Linus Goh , group leader of the world commercial bank.
Besides SMEs, the new program also has the potential to further catalyze Singapore’s growth in emerging sectors. These include clean energy and decarbonization, the circular economy, clean transport and green infrastructure, according to Joyce Tee, head of DBS’s SME banking group.