Senior officials of ADFIAP, the International Trade Centre (ITC) based in Geneva, and the International Institute for Trade and Development (ITD) of Thailand met for a second roundtable session on the proposed setting up of a “Regional SME Finance Knowledge Center” in Asia and the Pacific on February 4 and 5, 2010 in Bangkok, Thailand. Also providing inputs for the project during the meeting were senior officers of Thailand’s SME Development Bank, the Export Import Bank (Thai Exim), the Office of Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion (OSMEP) and the Ministry of Finance’s Fiscal Policy Office as well as the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI). The first roundtable meeting was held on November 24-25, 2009 at the Planters Development Bank Headquarters in Makati City, Philippines.
The envisioned regional SME Center is aimed at building the capacity of trade support institutions (TSIs), chambers of commerce and industry, business membership organizations and service providers, the small and medium enterprises themselves and other stakeholders that will result in easier access to finance for SMEs. Using existing practical tools and solutions developed by the organizing institutions, the Center is expected to produce, among others, country-based knowledge resources and experts that would train and coach SME managers on sound financial management practices.
The two-day event discussed in details the strategy paper prepared for the meeting by the ADFIAP Consulting (AC) group and laid the groundwork for the crafting of a full blown project document that will be submitted to donor-organizations for funding the project’s implementation. This event is covered by a Memorandum of Understanding between ADFIAP and ITC which was signed on October 28, 2009 during the Association’s CEO Forum VI in Manila.