| Lyna Mohamad |
THE 4th CAIBA Executive Board Meeting and Seminar yesterday saw Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD), the presiding bank of the China-Asean Inter-Bank Association (CAIBA), bring together leading banks from Asean and China to further explore its long-term cooperative relationship.
Held at The Empire Hotel & Country Club, the meeting comes ahead of the implementation of the Asean Economic Community (AEC) next year. China also wants to increase investment in the region to USD150 billion by 2020.
There is a need for China and Asean to work closer together to address challenges that could arise from the evolution of a single Southeast Asian market, such as the availability of solid commercial and financial infrastructure.
Possible areas for strategic collaboration between member banks will be identified, discussed and formulated into plans of action.
A seminar on SME Development and Micro Financing will be conducted to prepare member banks to respond actively to opportunities and challenges brought about by economic globalisation. Other training activities are currently being planned and these will also be organised throughout the year by member banks.
Such activities are intended to prepare member banks to contribute to national and regional development through increasing microfinance penetration among the poor.
Managing Director of BIBD, Javed Ahmad, in his capacity as the CAIBA Chairman, commented that these training programmes are in line with BIBD’s own plans to support the development of Brunei as a nation.
“SMEs are the backbone of Asean as they account for more than 96 per cent of all enterprises and 50 per cent to 85 per cent of domestic employment, making the development of SMEs integral to achieving long-run and sustainable economic growth,” he said.
The creation of CAIBA was proposed by China during the China-Asean Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam, on July 22, 2010, with the objective of fostering closer relations.
The chairmanship of CAIBA is rotated every two years and BIBD’s managing director serves as its current chairman while the bank holds the title of presiding bank until 2016.
The meeting is held annually and is followed by a seminar on topics that are jointly identified and selected by member banks.
The development objectives of CAIBA is to achieve mutually-beneficial social and economic development by promoting financing, trade and investment, as well as providing relevant financial services for infrastructure construction and other projects.
It also serves to build long-term cooperative relationships with other member banks on the principle of equality and mutual benefits, while providing more extensive financial services. Another objective is to enhance endogenous motivation for regional economic development.
Member banks include BIBD (Brunei Darussalam), Canadia Bank (Cambodia), Bank Mandiri (Indonesia), Lao Development Bank (Laos), CIMB Bank Bhd (Malaysia), Myanmar Foreign Trade Bank, Banco De Oro Uni Bank (Philippines), DBS Bank (Singapore), Kasikorn Bank Public Ltd (Thailand), Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam and China Development Bank.