UNIDO sets up Investment & Technology Promotion Office at CII, Chennai
Written by Anand   
Tuesday, 10 June 2008

CII - UNIDO MoU to promote 'mutual credit guarantee schemes' In auto components, leather and footwear sectors

Chennai: Confederation of Indian Industry - Southern Region (CII-SR) and United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) here today to promote Mutual Credit Guarantee Scheme (MCGS) to help micro, small and medium enterprises in auto components, leather and footwear industries secure bank loans without collateral security. 

UNIDO has also opened an Investment and Technology Promotion Office (ITPO) today at CII Southern Region Headquarters, Chennai to promote foreign direct investment, transfer of technology and SME development through various activities such as creating sub-contracting exchange for small and medium enterprises and matchmaking the buyers with sellers.
Delivering his address at the Seminar on "Mutual Credit Guarantee Schemes - The Italian Experience - Growth through Cooperation, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry - Southern Region, in association with UNIDO, here today, Mr Alejandro Vera, Advisor, UNIDO TIP, said that the core objective of UNIDO's SME initiatives is to promote business through partnerships. UNIDO aims to bring private equity to small and medium enterprises, besides reducing the gap between banks and small units. As a technical cooperation agency, UNIDO, would promote MCGS, which is a key component of UNIDO's three-year Consolidated Project for MSME Development in India.
He said that since micro, small and medium enterprises do not have easy access to bank loans without collateral security, they can come form a Mutual Credit Guarantee Agency (MGA), which will in turn provide guarantee for bank loans availed by its members. The advantages of mutual credit guarantee for the bankers include: increased comfort level, reduced risk and cost. UNIDO is partnering with Unionfidi, an Italian mutual credit guarantee agency, to replicate Italy's success in mutual credit guarantee schemes in India.
In his address, Mr Bruno Valanzuolo, Chief Technical Advisor, Consolidated Project for SME Development in India, UNIDO, said that UNIDO would strive to disseminate information about cluster best practices, MCGS and identify training needs of SMEs in forming MGAs. He said that mutual credit guarantee schemes represent new tools for MSME sector to better access to formal credits.
Explaining the Italian experience with MGAs, Mr Giorgio Guarena, General Manager, Unionfidi, a leading MGA in Italy, said that the relationship between small, medium enterprises and banks has to be strengthened to remove difficulties for industries to access credits. Generally, small industries lack equity participation, suitable guarantees and information. The role of a MGA here is to issue guarantees to loans, to assist SMEs in building expertise in credit management and provide structured information and ultimately to act as risk mitigator for financing banks. A successful mutual credit guarantee arrangement would involve the partnership of trade associations, banks, financial institutions, small and medium enterprises, local and national authorities and counter-guarantee entities.
In her address, Ms Rama Devi Kanneganti, President, Association of Lady Entrepreneurs of Andhra Pradesh (ALEAP), said that mutual credit guarantee agencies try to leverage the collective strength of small industries and help the industry access bank loans without collateral security. ALEAP has setup a corpus fund to give direct guarantees to loans availed by its member units. The ALEAP approach to MGAs has increased the comfort levels of bankers, reduce default rate, improve the credit flow to small scale industries and reduce procedural formalities involved in availing loans.
In his address, Mr Aniruddha Bagchi, National Expert - MCGS, UNIDO, said that active private sector involvement and proper design of schemes are keys to make MGAs a success in India. MGAs would help banks reduce administration cost of small scale lending and increase the information flow between the banks and industries. MGAs are parallel agents for lending agencies as they can act as rating agency, credit bureau and recovering agency, all rolled into one. The MGA model reduces duplication of work for banks, improves credit delivery and provides an alternate to credit risk mitigation. With MGA small industries can access bank loans at low cost. The process time of bank loans can be reduced by over 60 per cent.
Earlier, in his opening remarks, Mr T T Ashok, Chairman, Task Force on International Business Promotion & Networking, CII Southern Region, said that MCGS model works on the mutual trust of the cluster members in guaranteeing the financial needs of the other members. Building trust is the key to the success of the model.
UNIDO's ITP office, set up at CII, would focus on 1) providing subcontracting, outsourcing platforms and vendor-buyer meets, 2) investment, match-making, joint ventures and business partnerships, 3) financing, equity, venture capital and mutual credit guarantee schemes and 4) technology transfer financial schemes.

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