2012 APEC SME Conference to promote stronger ties among member countries
Preparations for the 2012 APEC SME Conference slated in July is now in full swing as over 40 delegates including chief executives of member SME Banks in the region are expected to attend. Taking the lead and playing host is Plantersbank, the country’s lead bank for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and the only Philippine financial institution that was invited to be a member of the prestigious Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Financial Institutions Dealing with Small and Medium Enterprises (APEC SME).
The goals of the APEC SME Summit are for the member institutions to (1) exchange views on topics related to SME finance, and (2) to establish a cooperation system among the APEC SME members in order to support SMEs in the APEC region.
“By holding the APEC SME Conference in the Philippines, we expect to gain a lot in terms of best practices, frameworks, systems and procedures that can help SME Banks to cope with the current changes and challenges affecting our SMEs,” says Plantersbank chairman and CEO Ambassador Jesus P. Tambunting. “We see this as an opportunity to deepen our ties with SME institutions in the region and discuss with them concerns and plans for SME Development that may have a considerable impact, not just on SME Banks and entrepreneurs, but ultimately the country,” he adds.
Currently, the APEC Financial Institutions Dealing with SMEs has 13 financial institution members from 11 APEC-member countries and economies. The members are the China Development Bank, the Bank of China (Hongkong), the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, the Standard Chartered Bank (Hongkong), the Japan Finance Corporation, the Industrial Bank of Korea, the Association of Banks in Malaysia, the Nacional Financiera SNC, the Association of Banks in Singapore, the Taiwan Cooperative Bank, the SME Development Bank of Thailand, the Vietnam Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Industry and Trade – Vietin Bank, and Planters Development Bank (Plantersbank).
The first APEC SME Summit was held in 2003. It was hosted by the SME Development Bank of Thailand in Hua Hin, Thailand. In the following years, the summit has been hosted by, among others, the Vietin Bank in Hanoi, Vietnam; the Japan Finance Corporation in Tokyo, Japan; the Industrial Bank of Korea in Seoul, Korea; and the Association of Banks in Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This will be the first time the Philippines is hosting this annual summit which is slated from July 18-20, 2012 at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza.