More digital trade, financial options for SMEs as financial players join hands

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SMALL and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) could see more digital trade and financial options following agreements by financial players, including AMTD Group and CIMB Bank in Singapore, to collaborate in those areas. 

AMTD, which is listed in Singapore and New York, and India-based business networking platform GlobalLinker on Monday night agreed to a strategic partnership aimed at aiding the "long-term development and competitiveness of SMEs" and contributing to the Business sans Borders (BSB) initiative set up by the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Infocomm Media Development Authority. 

BSB connects platforms to help SMEs access a global ecosystem of buyers, sellers, logistics service providers, financing and digital solution providers. It uses artificial intelligence to enable SMEs to discover prices and sales opportunities, access supply chains, and source for and use digital and financial solutions.

The partnership will see GlobalLinker join AMTD's SpiderNet, a network which includes fintech companies, regional banks and enterprises. In turn, AMTD will join GlobalLinker's SME network and bring its partners and subsidiaries onto GlobalLinker's platform. 

AMTD will also become the preferred financial services partner of GlobalLinker, as well as for SMEs on GlobalLinker's platform.

Calvin Choi, AMTD chairman and chief executive officer (CEO), said the strategic partnership with GlobalLinker will tap the group's "strong foundation" in the Greater Bay Area and connectivity with the global markets, and further enable SMEs to connect outside of South-east Asia.

Separately, Funding Societies and the Singapore branch of CIMB Bank have partnered AMTD to "explore" offering digital financial solutions to SMEs in Singapore and South-east Asia.

Kelvin Teo, Funding Societies founder and chief executive, said: "Sharing the common goal to build a one-stop digital solutions platform for SMEs, I believe that Funding Societies and AMTD partnering with CIMB, a leading financial institution in the region, will enable us to serve SMEs more comprehensively and be a step closer to our goal."

AMTD, with its ecosystem partners including Funding Societies, and CIMB will also collaborate in the retail and SME business to service SME customers, their employees, and retail customers that are served by the SMEs. This shall span services including payroll, mortgage loans, unsecured loans, remittance, and brokerage. 

In addition, AMTD and CIMB have agreed to partner in terms of capital markets opportunities.

Victor Lee Meng Teck, CEO of CIMB Singapore and CEO of CIMB Group Commercial Banking, said: "Constant innovation in an ever-changing digitalised world will enable us to leverage technology and create a better banking experience for our clients. We will be able to tap on each other's strengths, network and existing partnerships to expand into new client ecosystems."


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