Monday, February 16, 2009

Introduction to Banking Cambodia 2009


Photo by: Tracey SHELTON
International Data Group (IDG) Indochina Senior Advisor Derrick Tan announces the Banking Cambodia 2009 conference at NagaWorld Hotel & Casino last week


The Phnom Penh Post

Written by Derrick Tan
Monday, 16 February 2009

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By DERRICK TAN

WITH the rejuvenation of the banking and finance sector in Cambodia in the 1990s after a devastating era, the industry is now growing healthily and, in turn, contributing to the country's economic growth.

This effort has been primarily due to the leadership of the government and the National Bank of Cambodia, with assistance from donor organisations such as the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.

Developing infrastructure and information and computer technology applications are prerequisites for the modernisation of the banking and finance sector. In Cambodia, many innovation-driven banks are leading the way through technology to bring more convenience to customers, facilitate business growth and integrate with the international banking system.

Key areas of focus are the implementation of core banking systems, ATM networks, payment platforms, E-banking, mobile banking, and backroom operations and clearinghouse functions.

Other areas of promise include an upgrade of Cambodia's banking ICT infrastructure to support front-end point-of-sale (POS) systems and the development of a cheque truncation system (CTS) to facilitate non-cash payments, an online and mobile bill presentment and payment system, and e-banking and mobile banking.

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Developing infrastructure and ICT applications are prerequisites for the modernization of the banking and finance sector.

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Through the Banking Cambodia 2009 conference, co-organisers IDG and the National ICT Development Authority (NIDA) hope to introduce fresh perspectives to help keep Cambodia's banking and financial sector up-to-date on global trends.The conference and exhibition will feature new processes and best practices and assess the latest technologies currently modernising the sector.

The event, which takes place on Thursday and Friday at the prestigious international NagaWorld Hotel & Casino, marks the first of an annual series of conferences and exhibitions for the banking and finance industry. Themed the "modernisation of the banking and Microfinance Industry in Cambodia", this timely event serves as an ideal platform for the exchange of the latest ideas and best practice in ICT innovations and solutions.

It will serve as summit meeting for government ministries and agencies, local and regional banks and financial institutions, especially microfinance institutions, technology and solutions providers, and everyone who is involved in the industry.

The two-day conference will commence with a presentation of strategic issues in banking and finance developments in Cambodia. The governors of the State Bank of Vietnam and the Bank of Laos PDR have accepted an invitation to attend and will join their counterpart, the governor of the National Bank of Cambodia, at this summit meeting, hence bringing together the central bank governors of the Indochina region at Banking Cambodia.

The first keynote - "Cambodia: Recent Economic and Monetary Policy Developments" - will be presented by Neav Chanthana, the deputy governor of the National Bank of Cambodia, updating attendees on the latest monetary policy developments in the Kingdom.

Investors looking to Cambodia as a location for good returns and growth should pay attention to the presentation of Bretton G Sciaroni, legal adviser to the Royal Government of Cambodia, as he touches on "Cambodia's Investment Environment: Sectors with Excellent Potential".

The keynotes will be followed by sessions on innovations in banking from world-class technology and solutions providers like First Cambodia, Oracle, IBM, SAP, Avaya, Wincor Nixdorf, Temenos, FPT-IS and many others.

Because of the financial crisis, central banks across the world are in high-alert mode, especially when they have the means to manage fiscal policies and implement actions and regulations to help stabilise the banking system of their countries. Business communities worldwide are now looking to their governments to help stimulate their economies, such as by freeing up credit flows so that lending by banks to businesses can return to reasonable levels to sustain business growth.

On day two, the conference will focus on the banking and microfinance sector in Cambodia. Qimiao Fan, country manager at the World Bank will deliver a presentation on the banking sector's role in helping Cambodia survive and develop during the world economic downturn.

The highlight of the conference will be a leadership forum titled "Obtaining Financing for Business Survival and Growth: What the Banks Can Do During the Financial Crisis".

The forum will discuss whether there is a role for state institutions, donor organisations and NGOs to help with loans to businesses. The panel discussion will gather authorities from the NBC, the Association of Banks in Cambodia (ABC), the World Bank, IFC, Cambodia Microfinance Association (CMA) and other international banking and finance experts.

The conference will also showcase bank technology providers such as First Cambodia, FPT-IS, Oracle Technology, Oracle Financial Services Software, IBM, Wincor Nixdorf, Temenos, Neptune Software, 3i InfoTech, Interflex, Computer Telephony Asia, Thakral.

It will also feature banks and associations including the ABC, CMA, Canadia Bank, OSK Indochina Bank, ANZ Royal Bank and many others.

The organisers welcome the entire banking and microfinance community to join Banking and Finance Cambodia 2009. We particularly urge business owners, corporations, and small and medium-sized enterprises to join us to learn how they can get business loans to grow their businesses. Similarly, farmer associations and rural businesses can learn how they can get microfinancing to buy seed, fertilisers and get export financing. Visitors will also have a chance to win attractive prizes from the organisers.

Information about the conference and showcase is available at www.idgcambodia.com/banking.

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