Financing scheme enhanced to support Singapore firms developing green solutions

Furniture company Koda’s executive director Ernie Koh says the firm knows it is vital to be green as consumers are now more savvy about sustainability. ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

SINGAPORE - A financing scheme has been beefed up to support Singapore companies that develop green technologies.

The Enterprise Financing Scheme-Green is targeting firms that devise solutions to reduce waste, resource use and greenhouse gas emissions, Enterprise Singapore said.

The scheme, which kicked off on Friday (Oct 1) and will last until March 31, 2024, supports financial institutions in lending funds to firms by undertaking risk sharing of 70 per cent.

Funding will go to sectors such as clean energy, circular economy, green infrastructure and clean transportation.

The scheme will also aid with a range of financing needs, including developmental capital, fixed assets, trade, project, venture debt and mergers and acquisition.

ESG chief executive Png Cheong Boon said: "Demand for green solutions is set to grow globally as countries and industries strive to set practices and targets to control the adverse impact that emissions have on global warming.

"The scheme is meant to enable green technology innovators in Singapore to have easier access to green financing, in order to create ever-evolving, ever-improving solutions."

He noted that such companies will be those pushing new boundaries and bearing additional risks in enabling technologies for the transition towards a green economy.

Such actions in turn will help other enterprises adopt green solutions and capture opportunities globally.

The Enterprise Financing Scheme-Green is being supported by partner financial institutions including DBS, HSBC, OCBC and UOB.

Ms Joyce Tee, DBS group head of SME banking, said: "While awareness on green and sustainability imperatives is fast gaining traction, we have observed that many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) still consider these to be the remit of larger companies.

"ESG's introduction of the scheme is timely and it will help convince more SMEs to embark on their green and sustainability journeys."

Ms Regina Lee, HSBC Singapore's head of commercial banking, added: "The firms of the future will be those with the foresight to mitigate and adapt now in order to thrive.

"The scheme... will channel capital towards eligible businesses that are working towards the shift to a lower carbon economy."

Mr Linus Goh, OCBC group head of global commercial banking, noted that the bank has seen strong interest from SMEs seeking to start and accelerate green initiatives despite the disruptions from Covid-19.

Mr Eric Tham, UOB group head of commercial banking, added: "The scheme exemplifies public-private partnerships that broaden enterprises' strategic horizons beyond Singapore."

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