Thai KBank moves another step to bolster local SMEs

June 18, 2018 | 13:15
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KASIKORNBANK and Vietnam’s Agency for Enterprise Development last week signed a memorandum of understanding on the promotion of the development of small- and medium-sized enterprises and economic co-operation between Thailand and Vietnam.
thai kbank moves another step to bolster local smes
The MoU between KBank and the Agency for Enterprise Development is to bolster local SMEs

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc witnessed the signing on the sidelines of the eighth Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy Summit held on June 15 in Bangkok.

The memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed by KASIKORNBANK (KBank) president Pipit Aneaknithi and Agency for Enterprise Development (AED) acting director general Le Manh Hung.

Under the MoU, the two parties will develop long-term co-operation to support and promote small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) development in Vietnam by exchanging knowledge and initiatives to develop the SME community; design support programmes for innovative startups, business matching, and design scopes for SMEs; implement specific SME support and capacity building programmes to benefit SMEs; as well as to collaborate and connect enterprise data to provide support services for businesses.

AED’s Le Manh Hung said the signing of the MoU shows the importance of mobilising international resources and bringing new support models for international SMEs to Vietnam, such as innovative startup training. The MoU signing also aims to promote the implementation of the Law on Supporting SMEs, which takes effect on January 1, 2018, and the government’s decrees in guiding the implementation of this law.

Hung said after the signing, AED would co-operate with KBank to develop a collaboration plan for 2018, focused on supporting activities designed for innovative startups as well as business matching activities for enterprises.

To emphasise KBank’s strong standing, Aneaknithi said he aims to provide Vietnamese SMEs with comprehensive knowledge and technical assistance programmes to substantially enhance their capabilities and improve their operational efficiency. This would include giving SMEs access to finances by using the supply chain concept with the bank’s network as a connector between Vietnamese SMEs and KBank’s customers – Thai conglomerates that have been investing in Vietnam through foreign direct investment (FDI), mergers and acquisitions, and equitisation in the recent past, with investments valued at over $15.5 billion.

Given its expertise, holding almost 30 per cent of the SME loan market in Thailand, KBank aims to introduce its SME capacity development programme, which was previously successfully implemented in Thailand and Myanmar, to help support SMEs in Vietnam, in line with the government’s goal of having 1 million efficient private businesses by 2020.

Prior to the co-operation with AED, KBank had successfully collaborated with the State Bank of Vietnam, ministries, and other government agencies in several initiatives and events which aimed to enhance further co-operation between Vietnam and Thailand.

KBank, one of the leading SME banks and the fourth-largest commercial bank in terms of assets in Thailand, made an unwavering commitment to providing both credit and supporting investments, especially for FDI from Thailand to Vietnam, by sharing technologies and expertise for Vietnam’s SME development in both the credit and non-credit sectors.

By Ngan Ha

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