KASIKORNBANK enhances the role of Thai-Myanmar Border Trade Business Center

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KASIKORNBANK (KBank) teams up with Kanbawza Bank (KBZ Bank), Myanmar’s largest bank, to implement a staff exchange program of Mae Sot-Myawaddy, aimed at boosting Thailand-Myanmar border businesses

Focus is made on import-export settlements via banking system and promotion of cross-border funds transfer via Mae Sot Border Trade Business Center, which is aimed to increase to about THB200 million.

Mr. Kittichart Potithat, First Vice President for World Business Strategy and Marketing Management Department, KBank, said the bank has always placed importance on Myanmar market, given a large volume of border trade with Thailand.

With an aim to facilitate investors and business operators in the border areas, KBank’s Border Trade Business Center was set up in Mae Sot, Tak.

To date, the center has granted credits of more than THB150 million to businesses in Mae Sot for investment in Myanmar, completed 10 successful cases of business matching and organized various seminars to share knowledge on trade and investment, in order to promote trade and financial transactions between the two countries.

Recently, KBank expanded the cooperation with KBZ Bank by sending KBank’s staff to work at Myawaddy branch of KBZ Bank and in turn accepted KBZ Bank’s staff to work at Mae Sot branch of KBank for one year.

This cooperation should enable KBank to gain in-depth expertise about business operational format and banking regulations in Myanmar, as well as consumer insight in using financial services of Myanmar consumers.

Moreover, KBank staff under this staff exchange program can help advise Myanmar entrepreneurs on how to conduct financial transactions in Thailand, thus allowing both Thai and Myanmar entrepreneurs to conduct border trade transactions more smoothly.

It has been found that Thai SMEs still need help to understand more about Myanmar’s banking system and reliable channels in seeking business partners in Myanmar, while Myanmar SMEs want to use financial products and services of Thai banks, but have been limited by communications barriers.

Therefore, it is hoped that this cooperation will help enhance knowledge and understanding about financial and border trade transactions between the two countries. In 2018, KBank will offer financial facility to support border trade as always, focusing on cross-border money transfer service.

KBank will also place a greater emphasis on cross-border funds transfer to promote import-export settlements via regulated banking system because nearly 100 percent of such transactions now are settled through non-regulated system.

KBank is targeting an increase in Thai cross-border funds transfer transactions to Myanmar via KBank’s Border Trade Business Center at Mae Sot branch to about THB200 million in 2018.

In addition to cross-border trade, KBank has always placed emphasis on businesses in Myanmar. KBank and KBZ Bank have also jointly developed cross-border payment services, namely funds transfer in local currency and Myanmar Worker Remittance service to enable Myanmar workers in Thailand holding KBZ Bank account to transfer money back to Myanmar more conveniently by simply scanning the barcode of their Myanmar Remit Card at KBank ATM machines.

Moreover, KBank teams up with the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) to host the annual “SME Capacity Building Program” seminar to enhance the capacity of SME entrepreneurs in Myanmar.

The seminar is aimed at equipping them with knowledge about business operations and internal work processes to prepare for their business expansion, as well as preparation of financial statements in compliance with international standards for use in loan application.

Since 2016, the seminar has been held in six main cities including Yangon, Myawaddy, Bago, Mawlamyine, Myeik and Taunggyi. So far, over 600 Myanmar entrepreneurs have participated in the seminar. This year, the activity will also be held to fortify Myanmar entrepreneurs amid flourishing cross-border business and investment