ADFIAP’s consulting and advisory group, the ADFIAP Consulting (AC) presented the strategy paper they have drafted on the proposed setting up of a “Regional SME Finance Knowledge Center” in Asia and the Pacific at the 2nd roundtable meeting on the project held on February 4 and 5, 2010 at the Novotel Siam Square in Bangkok, Thailand. The SME Center is a collaborative project of ADFIAP, the Geneva-based International Trade Centre a (ITC) and the International Institute for Trade and Development (ITD) of Thailand. The first roundtable meeting was held on November 24-25, 2009 at the Planters Development Bank Headquarters in Makati City, Philippines.
The envisioned SME Center project will have a two-tiered approach, with pilot national centers around the region and an umbrella regional center serving as the apex and virtual facility to be lodged and managed at ADFIAP’s Asia-Pacific Institute of Development Finance (IDF). The national centers will build on the capacities of existing institutions in the pilot countries and will be strengthened with knowledge resources that ADFIAP, ITC and ITD presently have at their disposal. The national centers will be a public-private partnership of government agencies, chambers of commerce, associations, trade support institutions, banks and business service providers with a coordinating body and are hoped to be sustainable organizations once the project gets going. The aim of these national centers is to further enhance the ability of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to access finance from the formal banking system.
After deliberations in Bangkok, the AC will work on the completion of a project document that will be submitted to international donor-institutions for grants. The draft project document is expected to be finished by April in time for a final round of discussions in May by the partners ADFIAP, ITC