Krungsri hosts Japan-ASEAN Startup Business Matching Fair 2023
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Krungsri hosts Japan-ASEAN Startup Business Matching Fair 2023

ASEAN's largest startup matching event fosters international growth

In Thai national economy, there are more than 3 million micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises. They account for approximately 35 percent of the country’s GDP and above 70 percent of employment. Both the government and private sectors have been supporting startup and small business development for many years, while also creating business digitalisation infrastructure. Thus, Thailand is an ideal place for Bank of Ayudhya Public Company Limited (Krungsri) and strategic alliances to host its first Japan-ASEAN startup business matching event.

A member of the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), Krungsri collaborated with key partners, including Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), Thailand's Digital Economy Promotion Agency (depa), the Techo Startup Centre, and Khmer Enterprise of the Cambodia Ministry of Economy and Finance, to organise the "Japan-ASEAN Startup Business Matching Fair 2023." The event took place at Krungsri Head Office in June 2023. As the largest startup matching event in ASEAN, it commemorated the 50th anniversary of ASEAN-Japan relations and provided a platform for over 60 startups from nine countries—Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Indonesia, Singapore, Japan, and Finland—to showcase their potential to more than 160 leading international investors and companies.

Mr. Bunsei Okubo, First Executive Vice President and Head of JPC/MNC Banking at Krungsri, emphasised the fair's significance as a global business matching platform, connecting the extensive network of MUFG and Thai entrepreneurs to expand into Japanese and ASEAN markets. He explained how the partnership between ASEAN and Krungsri's digital capabilities can greatly benefit clients in enhancing their business operations. Mr. Okubo also highlighted the unique advantage of MUFG's status as Japan's largest financial institution, maintaining strong relations with the Japanese government agencies, coupled with Krungsri's position as a local bank with deep professional bonds with Thai government agencies. This enables them to effectively support Thai and ASEAN startups and businesses in fostering robust growth in the future.

Furthermore, Mr. Okubo underscored Krungsri's expertise in digitalisation and assisting clients in transitioning their organisations in the current era of digital disruption. Leveraging its corporate venture capital (CVC) firm, MUFG Innovation Partners (MUIP), MUFG invests in over 100 startups to facilitate their business expansion and support research and development. Within Thailand, Krungsri's CVC firm, Krungsri Finnovate, has successfully fostered joint ventures in various industries, such as Flash Express, a logistics service company and unicorn startup, and Finnomena, a fintech investment and wealth management platform.

Mr. Okubo expressed Japan's keen interest in Thailand as an investment destination. He highlighted Thailand's favourable strategic location, relaxed restrictions on startup investments, and strong support from the government sector, particularly attracting Japanese investors. Thus, the decision to hold the first ASEAN startup business matching event in Thailand was driven by these factors.

Moreover, the event extended its focus beyond Thailand by showcasing several startups from other ASEAN countries, particularly those in the fintech and consumer finance industries. It also contributed to carbon neutrality efforts by increasing opportunities for environmentally conscious startups with high growth potential to access funds.

Mr. Okubo concluded that Krungsri has promoted our customers to engage in digital transformation by emphasising their commitment to building a healthy startup ecosystem that enables startups and investors to co-create business innovations, meet customer demands, and ultimately scale up for sustainable growth.

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