The ABC inked a Memorandum of Understanding with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) at the ASEAN Business Club Forum 2015 to jointly launch a research grant programme aimed at providing actionable research on policies and business procedures to expand SME access to finance. The collaboration, called “Building Linkages: ASEAN SME Finance Research Program”, gained initial support from six participating member banks of the ABC, namely CIMB Bank, Bank Muamalat Malaysia, DBS of Singapore, Bank of Philippine Islands, KBZ Bank of Myanmar, and Citibank of Singapore.
“We know that entrepreneurship is one of the most powerful ways to unlock economic potential and lift people out of poverty to create a more secure and prosperous future for all,” said Dr. Michael Yates, director of the USAID Regional Development Mission for Asia. “That’s why we are pleased to partner with the ASEAN Business Club to promote an environment where small businesses can more easily access finance for growth to help them thrive in an integrated ASEAN Economic Community.”
The signing was witnessed by Hon. Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohd and Blair Hall, Deputy Chief Of Mission, US Embassy Singapore, together with chief executives of participating banks.