The country’s biggest bank, Kanbawza Bank, celebrated two milestones last week when it opened a representative office in Bangkok and became the first Myanmar bank with an international presence.
The opening of the office on August 3 marked the first step towards KBZ Bank’s goal of becoming Myanmar’s foremost commercial presence in Southeast Asia and internationally, the bank said in a statement.
U Than Cho, KBZ Bank’s senior managing director, said the office intended to begin offering financial and advisory services as soon as possible to Myanmar citizens and businesses in Thailand.
It was also hoped that Thai businesses interested in entering Myanmar would take advantage of KBZ Bank’s knowledge of the country’s financial markets, he said.
The statement noted an announcement during a visit by Thai Deputy Prime Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan last month that the two countries intended to double bilateral trade to US$20 billion in 2017.
“Through its representative office, KBZ Bank will help reach that target,” the statement said.
“The long-standing relationship between the two countries offers ample opportunities to collaborate across various sectors in the region,” Than Cho said.
KBZ Bank would also explore opportunities to build relations with, and eventually cater to, the large number of Myanmar in Thailand – estimated to number about three million – when when they return to their homeland, the statement said.
The representative office is headed by U Zeyar Sein Htut, KBZ Bank’s newly-appointed country head for Thailand.
As part of a strategy to continue expansion in Southeast Asia, the bank was recently granted a licence to open a representative office in Singapore, the statement said.