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Thailand’s KBank, Osaka to hold business-matching activities

Thailand’s KBank, Osaka to hold business-matching activities

BANGKOK: Kasikornbank (KBank) is collaborating with the Osaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) on business matching for Japanese small and medium-sized enterprises that plan to run businesses in Thailand.

Over the past few years, KBank has partnered with 25 Japanese banks for a similar SME-targeted purpose. Japanese corporate customers hold 3,300 accounts at KBank, accounting for a 14-percent share of this market.

The bank yesterday signed an agreement with the OCCI to hold business-matching activities and seminars for Japanese SMEs. KBank expects that within a year, around 100 companies will participate in these activities, creating trade value of not less than Bt4.5 billion.

Banthoon Lamsam, chairman of the board of KBank, said Osaka was a large economic zone contributing more than 7 percent of Japan’s gross domestic product, second only to Tokyo, which accounts for 14 percent.

Amid the current challenging economic conditions, it is not easy for Thai SMEs to make money, so business matching is one way to create new business opportunities for them, he said.

Chakrit Suwannachote, KBank’s Tokyo representative, said the collaboration with Japanese banks and other organisations helped increase the business Japanese corporates operating in Thailand do with KBank. These companies hold deposit accounts and make domestic and overseas fund transfers, while the bank also handles payroll accounts for their employees.

KBank plans to increase its collaboration with Japanese bank partners that have footprints in China and Asean, as it expects more Japanese companies to expand into those areas in line with their government’s policy of offering assistance for such activities, he said.

Tsutomu Miyagi, president of the OCCI, said this was the first time the chamber had joined with a foreign bank in SME business-matching activities.

According to Japanese Chamber of Commerce data, more than 7,000 Japanese companies are operating in Thailand, almost half of which are SMEs. Between 2005 and 2010, Japan was ranked as the top foreign investor in Thailand. Japanese companies are KBank’s top corporate borrowers.