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China's SME Guarantee Business Expected to Hit 1 Tln Yuan in 2009

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The guarantee business for China's small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is expected to reach one trillion yuan (US$146 billion) next year as the country is working to ease SMEs' financing bottleneck, said Li Yizhong, minister of industry and information technology on Friday.

At a national work meeting on industry and information technology, Li said China will step up the establishment of national and provincial credit guarantee institutions in 2009 to help SMEs get bank loans.

In a series of moves to boost the guarantee business for SMEs, the government vows to give tax cut or exemption to qualified guarantee agencies, and assist local governments in investing in guarantee agencies.

At the same time, banks are encouraged to develop more financial products for SMEs, and boost the growth of petty loan and short-term financing bonds.

(Xinhua News Agency December 19, 2008)