By THE NATION
Pisit said the bank the was particularly focused on moving forward with Thai entrepreneurs in the markets of the so-called CLMV countries: Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.
“For 2018, the bank will carry on our proactive role in growing loans to further drive the Thai economy, and we will keep accelerating export credit and investment insurance as a tool for exporters to penetrate markets with more confidence through online and other new channels in partnership with the relevant public and private sectors with the aim of growing Thailand’s international business turnover,” he said in a press conference,” he said.
“EXIM Thailand is ready to lead Thai entrepreneurs in penetrating the CLMV countries for trade and investment and developing SME exporters and investors to enhance their competitiveness,” said Pisit, referring to small and medium-sized enterprises.
The bank has developed the EXIM Happy Credit programme to help create new SME exporters and assist those without collateral to start their export endeavours.
Under the scheme, the bank is offering a credit limit of Bt500,000 and interest rate of 4.5 per cent per account in the first year for each single-account juristic person in line with the government’s policy.
Pisit said that global trade has shifted towards new frontiers.
“In 2017, the new frontier economy represented more than 50 per cent of the global economy, compared with around 20 per cent in the past two decades,” he said.
“EXIM Thailand has thus targeted to expand loans to Thai entrepreneurs to facilitate their competition in new frontiers, particularly the CLMV, Thailand’s major markets with an average annual export growth of 13 per cent from Bt260 billion in 2007 to Bt850 billion in 2017.
“Amid investment-induced trade in the global economy today, active expansion is seen in investment beyond Thailand to build new production bases and tap new markets.
“Thai entrepreneurs have to adjust themselves to keep pace with the new global trend. EXIM Thailand has thus launched credit facilities for Thai entrepreneurs’ expansion of investment in the CLMV. Thai investment in this market had an average growth of outstanding investment of 30 per cent per year from Bt33 billion in 2007 to Bt470 billion in the third quarter of 2017.”
The EXIM Thailand president said the bank has since 2017 implemented its 10-year master plan, to 2027, as a response to the government’s Thailand 4.0 initiative, along with the 20-year National Strategies, the 12th National Economic and Social Development Plan (2017-2021) and State Owned Enterprise Plan in the category of financial institutions.
In 2017, EXIM Thailand posted a net profit of Bt1.36 billion. At the end of December, its outstanding loans accounted for Bt91.88 billion, an Bt8.71 billion growth from the end of 2016, with new loan drawdown of Bt27.33 billion during the year and partial repayment of existing loans. This contributed to a business turnover of Bt159.94 billion.
Pisit said EXIM Thailand assisted entrepreneurs - particularly those SMEs that have competitive potential in both international trade and investment - with SME business turnover of Bt99.61 billion. Outstanding loans to SMEs amounted to Bt37.14 billion, a Bt2.11 billion or 6.02 per cent year-on-year growth.
EXIM Thailand’s non-performing loans (NPL) ratio at the end of December stood at 3.57 per cent, the same as in the previous year, or Bt3.28 billion in total NPL amount. Its allowance for doubtful accounts was Bt7.94 billion, of which Bt3.49 billion was minimum provisioning requirement by the Bank of Thailand, or a provision to provisioning requirement ratio of 227.53 per cent. This enabled the bank to maintain a strong financial status, Pisit said.
“As for support of Thai entrepreneurs’ international trade and investment, at present, EXIM Thailand has a total accumulated loan approval amount of Bt67.16 billion for international projects, with outstanding loans accounting for Bt36.21 billion as of the end of 2017,” Pisit said.
“EXIM Thailand has remained steadfast in promoting trade and investment expansion to such new frontiers as the CLMV. In June 2017, it opened a representative office in Yangon, and has plans to open more in Laos and Cambodia.”