Aug 15, 2012

Taiwan: President applauds Yunus’ microcredit scheme

Taiwan supports business loans and credit guarantees for small- and medium-sized enterprises to narrow the gap between rich and poor, letting everyone benefit from economic development.

Below is an article published by CNA:



President Ma Ying-jeou lauded Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus on Wednesday for his revolutionary microcredit scheme that gives loans to poor people to start their businesses.


Over the past 60 years, Taiwan has provided similar assistance, such as business loans and credit guarantees, to small- and medium-sized enterprises, which account for 98 percent of businesses in the country, Ma told the Bangladeshi economist at the Presidential Office.


Narrowing the gap between rich and poor is the administration's main goal, Ma said, adding that he hoped the benefits of economic development could be shared by everyone, not just big companies.


During the meeting, Ma also said Yunus' model outperformed the Communist model of Karl Marx, which the president said created rather than solved some problems for poor people.


Yunus, 72, and Grameen Bank were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for their efforts to create economic and social development at the grassroots level in Bangladesh.


By establishing the bank in 1983, Yunus sought to realize his vision of self-support for the poor by offering small loans to people who would otherwise not have access to credit through conventional means.


In 2006, more than 7 million borrowers -- 95 percent of whom were single women or from women's cooperatives -- had been granted small long-term loans, considered vital in lifting them out of poverty.


Yunus is on a five-day Asian tour, and Taiwan is his last stop following visits to Hong Kong and Beijing.