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Cooperatives bemoan difficult access to bank loans

29-05-2018 23:59

Robot Trading

Thuy Dung

HANOI – Cooperatives have said they often find it hard to take out loans from banks although they have sound production plans.

According to a report by the Vietnam Cooperative Alliance, cooperatives have seen growth in revenue and profit and ensured stable incomes for members. However, cooperatives are encountering numerous difficulties.

At a seminar on promotion of trade and technology application and funding for cooperatives last Friday, Tran Thi Hong Lan, deputy director of the Technology Application and Development Department under the Ministry of Science and Technology, said cooperatives are still struggling.

They can raise insignificant capital from members, and their lack of land, market information and high-quality human resources is a chronic issue, Lan said.

According to statistics of the Vietnam Cooperative Alliance, only 2% of cooperatives can access bank loans. Chronic shortages of capital have disabled many cooperatives to expand their operations or made others insolvent.

Vo Tan Hoang Van, general director of Saigon Commercial Bank (SCB), said the bank’s lending to cooperatives, particularly those in the transport sector, accounts for less than 1% of its outstanding loans.

Agricultural cooperatives have yet to gain easy access to bank loans as they have no assets for collateral.

Most cooperatives in Vietnam are supplying inputs for farmers. Only 12% of cooperatives are processing agricultural products, according to the Cooperative Development Department under the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

SCB general director Van said cooperatives must take part in value chains if they want banks to lend. If they participate in value chains, they can get support in terms of technology, fertilizer, breed and consumption, which expose lender banks to lower risks.

In addition, cooperatives’ senior executives are not as efficient as expected, making banks careful in lending. Research by the International Collaborating Centre for Aquaculture and Fisheries Sustainability (ICAFIS) showed that cooperatives’ senior executives with good qualifications account for a mere 7.4% and qualified treasurers and accountants 4.5%.

Some localities have hired managers to run cooperatives to cope with the situation.

At the seminar, Lan cited Minh Duc Cooperative in the northern mountainous province of Lao Cai as a successful cooperative model. The cooperative applies hi-tech to farming and processing salmon and sturgeon.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has provided the cooperative with smoke houses to process coldwater fish and its products have been consumed well.



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