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SMEs body, EDF tussle over export conditions

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By Chimwemwe Mangazi:

MATAMBO— SMEs must be well informed

The National Association of Small and Medium Enterprise (Nasme) has faulted the Export Development Fund (EDF) for ‘using restrictive policies’ and being selective when assisting exporters.

Nasme National Chairperson, William Mwale, said in an interview.

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Mwale said no member of the association has benefitted from the fund after several attempts.

“They (EDF) have to review their requirements because a business plan does not really portray what is in the business.

“Again, the interest rate is too high and not good for an SME. They need to revise their interest charges,” Mwale said.

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Beulaland Food Processors Managing Director, Telita Chitsulo, a member of the association said the Fund should come up with tailor-made solutions for SMEs.

EDF Chief Executive Officer, William Matambo, said the fund is ready to work with SMEs as long as they meet rules.

He said EDF was supporting producers of oil seeds, pulses, cotton and rice.

“It is true that not all applications are accepted. However, all those that are declined are referred back with valid explanations provided on why they have not been approved.

“SMEs must be well informed before they enter into any contractual agreement with would-be buyers,” Matambo said.

He said, in most export applications, transactions are structured in contrast to EDF requirements.

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