20 Oct 2009

Cook Islands Government yet to say how small business development loan will be distributed

4:58 pm on 20 October 2009

The Cook Islands Chamber of Commerce says specific terms on how millions of dollars from a European bank can be accessed by small to medium sized businesses is still being worked out.

The European Investment Bank has agreed to a four and a half million US dollar global loan with the Bank of the Cook Islands to improve access to finance for small to medium sized businesses.

But the Chamber president, Steve Anderson, says it appears policy on how businesses can access the money is still being worked out by the bank and government officials, and it may be some time before businesses can access it.

"Obviously there will be some criteria. We are not yet clear whether it's going to be concessionary loans, what the security requirements will be, whether it's going to compete with commercial finance, we're not clear. But it will be welcome. And if its dispersed in a fair way then we welcome it 100 percent."

Steve Anderson.

The Bank of the Cook Islands says it wants use to money to supplement its backing of small to medium sized enterprises in the industrial, agricultural, energy and tourism sectors.