Minister of Industry: Review of small and medium-sized enterprises support mechanisms

The Minister of Industry, Ahmed Zeghdar met Thursday with officials of the Agency for the Development of SMEs and the promotion of innovation (ADPI-SME) and the Credit Guarantee Fund to SMEs (FGAR), to discuss ways to strengthen the support mechanisms of this category of companies to contribute to the diversification of the national economy, said a statement from the ministry.

During this meeting, explanations were provided to the Minister on the agency and its main missions to support SMEs, its creation stages, its modernization, improving its competitiveness and encouraging its innovation, which allows the agency to contribute to the intensification of a network of SMEs “effective and innovative” and develop subcontracting, adds the statement.

At this meeting, officials of the agency have discussed the constraints that reduce its effectiveness in supporting a large number of SMEs, particularly debts due to business incubators and former facilitation centers connected to this agency, after replacing in 2018 the National Agency for the Development of SMEs (ANDPME).

Based on these data, Mr. Zeghdar stressed the need to pool efforts to enable the agency to perform its role, stressing the imperative to intensify contacts to publicize it to the general public and get closer to the project holders, especially at universities.

He ordered to develop an urgent action plan that provides solutions and measures to be taken for the resolution of problems and obstacles that the agency faces.

The agency, says the statement, has 45 local structures, spread over 33 provinces of the Center, West, East and South of the country, 17 business incubators, 28 support centers and consulting, in addition to three other projects of local structures to expand its network and get closer to the holders of ideas and projects.

In addition, FGAR officials gave an overview of this organization and its main objective of facilitating access of SMEs to medium-term loans, and this by granting guarantees to companies that do not have guarantees.

It is mainly, according to the communiqué of the Ministry, to guarantee the reimbursement of part of the loss assumed by the bank in case of non-repayment of the loan, the rate of guarantee can reach 80% of the value of the bank loan, with a maximum amount of guarantee equal to 100 million DA.

Since its founding in 2004, the fund has provided more than 32,000 loan guarantees to support projects that have created nearly 100,000 jobs, said the official.

In this regard, the Minister stressed “the need to expand the range of products of the Fund to provide other financial benefits to holders of ideas and projects to help them in various stages of implementation of their projects.

Zeghdar also called for a greater presence of the Fund in various regions of the country, including those in the South, to allow it to provide greater support to project holders in the South.

Lastly, Mr. Zeghdar stressed the need for coordination between all agencies involved in supporting SMEs under the sector with agencies belonging to other sectors (startups, microenterprises and higher education in relation to innovation).

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