The government of Singapore has provided loans worth $17.4 billion to over 20,000 firms amid the pandemic last year, media reports said. It is reported that the firms received the loans through Enterprise Singapore (ESG) backed schemes last year.
The loans were more than the ESG-supported loans for the whole of 2019. Furthermore, the businesses were provided the loan under temporary bridging loan programme. The programme was floated to tackle challenges such as cash flow constraint, which are posed sue to the pandemic.
The economic backbone of Singapore, the wholesale trade segment accounts for 12 percent of the country’s GDP and is considered as one of the top segments to have rip the benefits of the Scheme. The one-fifth of the approved loans were given to the wholesale trade firms and the 16 percent of the loans were provided to the construction sector. Other sectors which benefited the loan include sectors such as retail, services and manufacturing.
A nine percent of Singapore’s workforce is occupied by the wholesale trade sector, which is over 320,000 jobs across 50,000 companies. The sector includes companies related to import and export in electronics, food and beverage and machinery.
Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing, told the media, “While the coronavirus pandemic has negatively affected the wholesale trade sector in the short term, Singapore remains optimistic about its prospects for the long term. We are cautiously optimistic that in 2021, we’ll see a rebound for the sector for most of the commodities traded within the overall sector.”