YANGON • Ms Nang Lang Kham, the deputy chief executive of Myanmar's largest private bank KBZ who recently won the Promising Young Banker in Myanmar award given by The Asian Banker to bankers below the age of 40, is fascinated by the opportunities in Asean.
"The growth of Asean has been quite fascinating to follow - this year, the combined gross domestic product of member countries is US$2.5 trillion (S$3.4 trillion), almost double what it was seven years ago," she said.
"I think the Asean Economic Community agreement has been instrumental in catalysing healthy economic growth and cooperation among member countries."
Under her charge, the bank is looking to take bigger strides in the domestic market.
According to a Bloomberg report, KBZ Bank, founded in 1994, aims to more than double the number of its branches in the country to 1,000 by 2020, as well as grow mobile financial services to reach people in rural areas.
Ms Nang said the removal of tariffs in the region has made trade and investments across Asean more attractive, and she is looking to improve the bank's regional profile.
"Singapore, for example, accounts for 24 per cent of FDI in Myanmar, followed by Thailand at 15 per cent. Conversely, KBZ has been opening representative offices across the region - in Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia as well," she said.
OPTIMISTIC ECONOMIC OUTLOOK
The growth of Asean has been quite fascinating to follow - this year, the combined GDP of member countries is US$2.5 trillion, almost double what it was seven years ago.
MS NANG LANG KHAM, deputy CEO of Myanmar's KBZ Bank, on the effects of the Asean Economic Community agreement.
"With a forecast of 5 per cent annual growth over the next decade, and a combined population of 630 million people, inclusive of over 50 per cent youth, I am optimistic about the direction Asean is taking, and its ability to overcome any challenges to come," she said.
Moving forward, she said, Asean will have to look at the remaining barriers to free trade internally.
MYANMAR ELEVEN/ASIA NEWS NETWORK