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KBank in border staff swap with Myanmar lender

KASIKORNBANK (KBank) is joining with Myanmar’s biggest lender, Kanbawza Bank (KBZ Bank), on a staff exchange programme for the border cities of Mae Sot and Myawaddy.

The initiative is part of efforts to boost trade across the border.

The focus is on import-export settlements via banking system and promotion of cross-border funds transfer via the Mae Sot Border Trade Business Centre, which aims to reach Bt200 million in such transactions this year, Kbank’s first vice president for world business strategy and the marketing management department, Kittichart Potithat, said yesterday.

He said the bank had always placed importance on the Myanmar market, given the large volume of border trade with Thailand.

With the aim of helping investors and business operators in the border areas, KBank’s Border Trade Business Centre was set up in Mae Sot, Tak province. To date, the centre has granted credit of more than Bt150 million to businesses in Mae Sot for investment in Myanmar, completed 10 successful cases of business matching and organised seminars to share knowledge on trade and investment, in order to promote trade and financial transactions between the two countries.

Recently, KBank expanded its cooperation with KBZ Bank by sending KBank staff to work in Myawaddy branch of KBZ Bank. In turn, KBZ Bank staff will work at the 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, Kittichart said.

“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,” he said.

“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 facilities 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 per cent of such transactions now are settled through non-regulated systems. KBank is targeting an increase in Thai cross-border funds transfer transactions to Myanmar via KBank’s Border Trade Business Centre in Mae Sot branch to about Bt200 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 a Myanmar worker remittance service to enable Myanmar workers in Thailand holding KBZ Bank accounts to transfer money back to Myanmar more conveniently by simply scanning the barcode of their Myanmar remit card at KBank ATMs.”

Source: The Nation

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