While Cambodia has made substantial strides over the last two decades, achieving lower-middle-income status in 2015, it was severally hit by the pandemic. It impacted key sectors, namely tourism, exports, and construction which together accounted for 70% of growth and 39% of total paid employment in 2019. As a result, nearly half of households reported having experienced declines in income and the poverty rate is estimated to have increased to 17.8%.
MSMEs play a significant role in the local economy as they account for over 70% of employment, 99.8% of enterprises, and 58% of GDP. Amret is a very robust institution with a long solid track-record and well positioned to provide financial services to MSMEs helping them to overcome the current challenges and get back on the growth path. It also contributes strongly to economic and social inclusion having a focus on lower-income borrowers and financially under-served segments of the population, especially women and young entrepreneurs in rural areas.
The USD 15m subordinate load benefits from a 30% loss guarantee provided by SDC (Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation) as Cambodia belongs to the least developed countries and the loan is earmarked for MSMEs hence creating a positive impact on the financial inclusion of underserved groups and job creation.