The American Chamber of Commerce in Kosovo organized a virtual conference on access to finance for businesses, given the great financial uncertainties of the time. During this conference, representatives of commercial banks had the opportunity to present their current offers and products through which they aim to help businesses more easily cope with the crisis caused by the restrictive measures to prevent the COVID-19 pandemic, but also facilitate access to finance for enterprises that may need new investment after the end of the pandemic.
Milazim Abazi, Chairman of the Finance Committee of the American Chamber of Commerce, speaking on the many problems of businesses at this time, with particular emphasis on those with liquidity, stressed that it is vital for the private sector to provide additional support from commercial banks beyond the measures agreed in cooperation with the Central Bank for installment deferral. According to Abazi, in line with the possibilities of banks, businesses in the country need easier access to finance, so that they can continue to operate normally.
Adonis Bllacaku, head of the business department at the Bank for Business, stressed that this bank has created specific packages to facilitate access to finance for micro-businesses, a group which is in focus for support from this bank. He said that in order to continue supporting businesses, BPB has approved new limits up to 30% of the usual limit for existing customers, thus enabling companies to access additional funds to develop activities and resume their activities. According to Bllacak, this percentage of additional funds has not been final and the bank is open to other opportunities, while specific recommendations from businesses are very welcome for further product development.
Lulzim Tahiri, manager of the SME banking department at TEB Bank, said that even during this time there were no interruptions in the lending process within the bank, while additions were offered to the credit lines of existing customers of TEB Bank. Tahiri said that as a result of the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, TEB bank, in addition to deferring loans, has allocated special funds for loans dedicated to supporting businesses to cover salaries and other operating costs, as well as for supply. depending on the type of business. According to Tahiri, all support measures have been taken in accordance with the recommendations of the Central Bank of Kosovo.
Armend Haxhiu, Head of Business Department at ProCredit Bank, emphasized that even this bank has not stopped lending processes, while offering deferral of loan payments to customers in financial difficulties in accordance with the recommendations of the CBK. Haxhiu also said that as a result of various difficulties created by the pandemic, ProCredit has entered into agreements with international financial institutions, which have provided credit lines for further support of Kosovar businesses. He stressed that ProCredit bank in partnership with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has created an offer to support investment in electronic platforms, in order to facilitate the development of online sales, which has proven to be very necessary especially during this period.