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NTUC FairPrice accelerates payment to suppliers

By Channel NewsAsia 04 March 2009

SINGAPORE: Supermarket chain NTUC FairPrice has set aside S$30 million to speed up payment to its suppliers. It will pay suppliers on a 30-day term instead of 60 days.

This will help to ease the cash flow of some 500 local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) identified under the FairPrice SME Assistance Programme.

So far, 283 SMEs have taken up the early payment offer, and more suppliers are expected to tap on this programme in the next few months.

The assistance programme, which expires in December, is part of a holistic package initiated by NTUC FairPrice in January to help all stakeholders cope with the downturn.

Ng Ser Miang, Chairman of NTUC FairPrice, said: "Many of our suppliers are our long-standing business partners. During good times, our suppliers have supported us by keeping prices low so that essential goods are available to our customers at affordable prices.

"We are glad to be able to help our partners in this downturn so that we can continue our good working relations."

Suppliers welcomed the assistance scheme.

Joey Ho, general manager of electric supplies firm T H International said: "The scheme will help to improve our cash flow and see us through this global economic crisis. That means more jobs will be saved."

Randy Goh, director of food importer Sinhua Hock Kee Trading, said with the scheme in place, the company can make fuller use of its working capital and help it tide over times of tight credit.

- AFP/yb