APEC banks reaffirm cooperation to better serve SMEs

Fourth Estate Cooperative Staff

Manila, Philippines (4E) – Thirteen banks from the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) bloc serving mostly small and medium enterprises (SMEs) reaffirmed their cooperation to better serve SMEs during a meeting in Manila on Thursday.

Heads of delegates from Standard Chartered Bank Hong Kong (SCBHK), Japan Finance Corp. (JFC), Industrial Bank of Korea (IBK), the Association of Banks in Malaysia (ABM), Nacional Financiera S.N.C of Mexico (NFSNC), Planters Development Bank (PDB), Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS), the Taiwan Cooperative Bank (TCB), the SME Development Bank of Thailand (SDBT), the Vietnam Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Industry and Trade or Vietin Bank promised to continue sharing information on SME financing issues and trends as well as promote the development of SMEs in their respective countries at the 9th Annual Meeting of the APEC Financial Institutions Dealing with Small and Medium Enterprise (APEC SME) at the Sofitel hotel in Pasay City. The 2-day meeting is the group’s first gathering in the Philippines with PDB, the country’s leading SME creditor, serving as host.

The delegation heads of APEC SME also revealed on the first day of the meeting on Thursday their bank’s respective achievements in the past, current activities and future plans of action to serve SMEs better.

ABM delegation head and Maybank executive vice president Datuk Ibrahim bin Muhammed revealed that financing fairs and dialogues allowed the group to determine the needs of local SMEs.

Taiwan delegation head and TCB assistant manager Chen Yao Tsai said his bank is expanding into mainland China through its Suzhou branch.

ABS delegation head and managing director of DBS Bank Ltd. Lim Chu Chong emphasized credit risk sharing by banks and the Singaporean government to sustain SMEs and keep employment rate stable.

For its part, PDB representatives said it is opening more branches in the countryside to support more SMEs.

Other topics discussed were challenges facing banks and strategies to meet them, new products and services and green loans to support SMEs’ adoption of environmentally-friendly technologies and machineries such as waste water treatment, alternative energy and biofuel, and greenhouse gas measurement systems.

PDB chairman and chief executive officer Jesus P. Tambunting told delegates to the meeting that sharing wealth of valuable information among the APEC SME members, whether challenges and best practices, is relevant in building knowledge in the industry and makes for responsible SME banking.

The APEC SME meeting concludes Friday. The next annual meeting will be held in Singapore in May 2013 with ABS as the host.


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