AN additional $40million has been allocated to the Import Substitution and Export Finance Facility (ISEFF) effective immediately, increasing its capacity to $80m.
The facility, which was established by the Reserve Bank in July 2010, allows lending institutions such as the Fiji Development Bank, commercial banks and licensed credit institutions to obtain funds from the central bank at an interest rate of 2 per cent per annum, and a maximum of 6 per cent per annum for eligible businesses.
RBF deputy governor Inia Naiyaga said doubling the funding allocation would allow more businesses to benefit from the facility which offered a concessional rate of interest.
"The larger funding capacity will complement measures announced in the 2013 National Budget to promote national growth," he said.
"The uptake on ISEFF has been very positive with the initial $40m allocated almost completely utilised."
The central bank said the ISEFF loans were offered for a maximum duration of five years with 35 companies in the manufacturing, agriculture, fisheries, garment and renewable energy sectors already benefitting from the facility.
ANZ Fiji head of corporate banking Rakesh Ram welcomed the move saying the initiative by RBF supported and encouraged businesses and the export industry.
"This decision to increase funding allocation will allow for ANZ and other commercial banks to support customers to expand and grow the export sector or diversify into export related products," Mr Ram said.
"At this stage, we have not found the need to borrow from the RBF.
However, the initiative is fully supported by ANZ."
The facility was set up to boost exports and encourage more import substitution industries.