By BUUMBA CHIMBULU
ABOUT US$200,000 (K3m) has been approved for two loan applications from exporters by the Zambia Export Development Fund (ZEDEF).
Fund Manager, David Chewe, said ZEDEF had this year approved two loan applications from exporters of goods and services in Zambia, each worth US$100, 000. Dr Chewe said in an interview that the fund received four applications of which one did not meet the criteria.
“We disbursed one, another approved and third at approval stage. Each for US$100, 000,” he said.
Dr Chewe said two had since been approved out of which one was fully drawn and the other was awaiting clearance of foot and mouth disease.
“Most of the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are not export ready. So out of four applications we received this year, only one did not meet the criteria, two got approved out of which one was fully drawn the other one is awaiting clearance of Foot and Mouth Diseases (FMD) and fourth application is under approval process.
He said only one loan was ready for disbursement adding that the FMD had affected the others but applications just trickled in. Dr Chewe said the fund had continued to sensitise the public on availability of working capital finance.
He said in addition, the fund was also engaging potential partners to help increase the size of individual loans from current max US$100, 000 to cater for higher requirements.
ZEDEF, Dr Chewe said, had also introduced new products, conducted public perception survey which was being analysed and was currently developing a brand identity.
He said ZEDEF had held meetings with stakeholders particularly on how ZEDEF and Saudi funds could be used to address capital finance needed for exporters.
“We also were working on recoveries. One loan has fully been repaid and a number of partial recoveries made.
“We have two types of applicants namely; those who have been working with ZDA enterprise and export promotion and marketing, and those working and have prior export experience,” Dr Chewe said.