As the Export-Import Bank of Thailand (EXIM) marks its 25th anniversary this year, its president Pisit Serewiwattana says the bank has reviewed its strategic plan in line with the changing global economic circumstances and Thai economic outlook.
In a press release issued on ThursdAay the company said it has identified six main strategies. They include 1. Develop and Expand Thai Trade and Investment Globally, 2. Support National Infrastructure and Industrial Development, 3. Provide Protection against International Trade and Investment Risks, 4. Enhance the Competitiveness of Thai Entrepreneurs, 5. Enhance the Bank’s Technological and Digital Efficiency, and 6. Build a High Performance Organisation.
The company said that under the strategies, EXIM Thailand plays a role in bridging the gaps of Thai business networks, serving as an intermediary in building new business networks for Thai entrepreneurs interested in penetrating new frontier markets.
The Bank also seeks to collaborate with the public and private sectors, both at home and abroad, to connect Thai entrepreneurs, products and services, to manufacturing sectors and consumers in such new destinations.
Appropriate forms of supporting Thai entrepreneurs in new frontiers are under study following the establishment of EXIM Thailand’s first and second representative offices in Yangon and Vientiane, respectively, and with the third one to be founded in Phnom Penh in March 2019.
Small enterprises represent as high as 99 per cent of the country’s total business entities. Their share of Thailand’s GDP has consistently grown and contributed to 30 per cent of the country’s GDP in 2017. If these enterprises are successful in turning themselves into exporters, Thailand’s growth potential will also be enhanced substantially.
EXIM Thailand has thus established EXIM Excellence Academy (EXAC) as a work unit to initiate and execute activities in support of Thai export businesses for start-up or expansion.
These business enterprises are classified by their growth potential as follows: 1. new or start-up exporters (“Neo-exporters”), 2. exporters with some export experience (“Mid-pros” or intermediate exporters), and 3. Advanced exporters (“High-Flyers”).
EXAC activities range from incubation courses to provide knowledge necessary for starting or expanding international trade, business trips to survey markets and export opportunities, business matching with foreign traders or buyers, talks or seminars involving experts from public and private sectors invited to give comprehensive consultation and advice, financial product development to support business start-up or expansion, promotion of business partnership network both at home and abroad, to creation of “exporters society” where successful exporters and EXAC graduates are invited to share their experience and act as mentors for new generations of exporters.
These activities aim to help nurture a strong community of exporters that can compete well in the global market.
On the occasion of its 25th Anniversary, EXIM Thailand has launched EXIM Happier Credit, a pre- and post-shipment revolving credit for export start-ups who are new to the Bank’s services, each with a credit limit of up to Bt700,000.
For existing customers, a credit limit is raised to up to Bt1 million with interest rate/discount purchase rate of 5.50 per cent per annum in the first year and prime rate – 0.50 per cent per annum (or 5.75 per cent per annum) in the second year in conjunction with a forward contract worth up to the amount equal to the approved credit amount. No asset-based collateral is required (only a personal guarantee applies).
As an additional benefit, participants of EXAC programs or other activities of the Bank will be eligible for a discount of 0.50 per cent on the first-year interest rate. The total approval amount of this new credit facility is targeted at Bt400 million and expected to assist at least 550 small enterprises in starting or growing their exports with no hindrance on business liquidity or foreign exchange risks.
In view of EXIM Thailand’s operating results under its new role, the Bank has exceeded the targets set forth. As of the end of December 2018, the Bank’s total outstanding loans reached a record high of Bt108,589 million, a Bt16,703 million or 18.18 per cent growth year-on-year, comprising Bt38,412 million in trade finance and Bt70,177 million in investment finance.
Provision of credit facilities contributed to a business turnover of Bt197,120 million, of which Bt106,362 million came from SMEs. As of the end of December 2018, outstanding SME loans amounted to Bt42,906 million, representing a Bt5,765 million or 15.53 per cent year-on-year growth. This contributed to the Bank’s net profit of Bt1,365 million.
NPLs ratio as of the end of December 2018 stood at 3.78 per cent, with NPLs amounting to Bt4,103 million. Allowance for doubtful accounts was Bt9,385 million, a Bt1,436 million increase from the corresponding period of the previous year.
Of the total allowance, Bt4,572 million was minimum provisioning requirement by the Bank of Thailand, which represented a ratio of loan loss provision against the regulatory requirement of 205.25 per cent, hence enabling the Bank to maintain a strong financial status.
“EXIM Thailand remains steadfast in pursuing its organisation development and driving its international trade and investment strategies, introducing new business opportunities, particularly those in new frontiers, to Thai entrepreneurs.
“We have been working closely with public and private entities in maximising Thai entrepreneurs’ competitive advantage with the availability of our business networks, finance and knowledge bases, in our consistent attempt to help contribute to the country’s sustainable development,” Pisit said.