Bangkok Bank, in embracing opportunities from ASEAN, a growing region, is drawing on its strong regional network to facilitate customers’ growth in Southeast Asia’s markets and reinforce its position as a leading regional bank.
Bangkok Bank President Chartsiri Sophonpanich, speaking on the Looking Ahead – The View from Asia panel at the Bloomberg Business Summit at APEC, said ASEAN remained a region of continued growth which has recovered quickly after the Covid-19 outbreak.
He said ASEAN also greatly benefits from policies to drive the economy, trade and investment of many trade partners, especially China, which is building supply chains across ASEAN. However, recent challenges have raised the importance of localization as well as globalization to provide security of supply chains.
“Globalization has been the key theme for the past 40 years with a focus on improving efficiency. We have seen recently, particularly during the Covid pandemic, that these efficient systems can be severely affected by situations such as the temporary closing of factories or the disruption of global logistics,” said Mr. Chartsiri. “This shows the importance of strengthening security on the local and regional levels. We need to balance being part of efficient global supply chains while ensuring we are secure on the domestic and regional levels.”
Bangkok Bank has robust business foundations with a strong home market in Thailand, supported by its position as Southeast Asia’s 6th largest regional bank by assets and Thailand’s most international bank.
“We have nearly 30 branches in 13 economies, as well as more than 270 branches in Indonesia, through our subsidiary PermataBank, which we acquired in 2020,” he said. “We believe in the ASEAN market and its bright future. We now have a solid financial business base in ASEAN's two largest economies, Indonesia and Thailand. Indonesia is enjoying a recovery and Thailand has seen a rebound in tourism which is a major contributor to the economy. The number of international visitors to Thailand has already reached 9 million this year and will continue to rise.”
Mr. Chartsiri also said that the Bank has retained its strong presence in other key markets including Vietnam and the Philippines. Vietnam’s economic recovery accelerated in the first nine months of 2022 as its GDP grew by 8.83%, while exports rose by 17.3% to $282.52 billion.
With the vision of being a leading regional bank that wants to play a key role in building a bright future for ASEAN, the Bank has focused on developing new initiatives to strengthen regional digital connectivity, financial interoperability, and cross-border payment. The key initiatives include Enterprise Blockchain letters of credit (L/C) via Contour, multiple cross-border payment initiatives via a cooperation with many countries in ASEAN, financial services, cash management and supply chain finance for businesses and supply chains, the development of a strong international network and the acquisition of PermataBank in Indonesia.