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However, a top challenge for SMEs is the limited access to capital, technology and markets. Trade Undersecretary for Industry Promotion Group Undersecretary Nora K. Terrado said, “With the Bank of China, we expect to have a mutual understanding of innovative methods that will make financial assistance and money for MSMEs [micro, small and medium enterprises] more accessible.”

BOC officials said, “BOC Global SME Cross-border Matchmaking Service promotes the interconnection between SMEs worldwide, helps them share the global value chain  and stimulates the vitality and globalization of SMEs.”

The trade and investment conference will serve as matchmaking service that overturns traditional mode for inviting investment and adopts an innovative mode of “one-to-one” or “one-to-more” negotiation and connection. It include “six-step” process, including establishing a database for enterprises, customer matching, remote online matchmaking, one-to-one meeting, onsite survey and all-round banking service. This move broke through the traditional investment attraction mode that removes many kinds of obstacles that enterprises may encounter in their cross-border business process. Through complementation and transformation between market resources in developing countries and technical advantages in developed countries, the service could achieve the goal advocated in Apec Leaders’ Declaration, which states that “all enterprises, big or small, should be able to access business opportunities existing everywhere.”

In the past two years, the BOC has already held 26 cross-border investment and trade conferences in the world, which attracted over 30,000 people from political and business circles and more than 8,500 enterprises from 57 countries in five continents to participate. It covered high-end manufacturing, environmental protection, information technology, medical and health, agriculture, food, machinery and equipment, chemical, automobile and other industries. Nearly 5,000 cooperation intentions were reached in over 9,500 one-to-one negotiations. At least 1,000 cooperation intentions have yielded substantial results. “BOC Global SME Cross-border Matchmaking Service” was highly recognized and commended by governments and enterprises home and abroad.

In line with BOC’s mission to be a “Bridge between Chinese and Philippine trade and investments,” bridging the SMEs in the Philippines and the rest of the world is consistent with the bank’s mission.

To promote this service in the Philippines and bring BOC’s vast network and expertise to the country’s SMEs, a strategic cooperation agreement by the BOC, DTI, PCCI and ICCP was signed during President Duterte’s visit to Beijing on October 21. These organizations will jointly organize the “BOC Global SME Cross-border Trade and Investment Conferences” that will be held in the Philippines in 2017. It is expected to attract SMEs that will have the chances to meet with SMEs from overseas and discuss business opportunities in trade, technology import and acquisition through at least six rounds of one-to-one negotiations.

To demonstrate BOC’s commitment in contributing to the aim of the Philippine government to provide more help to SMEs, and to show its support in promoting the economic ties between the two countries, with the guidance of the DTI, preparations for these trade conferences were immediately launched within weeks after the President’s state visit to China. On November 24 the road show will be held and to be attended by various industry associations, financial institutions for SMEs, law firms and accounting firms where Bank of China will discuss its six-step matchmaking service and share success stories of its seamless financial services to SMEs in China.

BOC was established in February 1912. As China’s most internationalized and diversified bank, BOC provides a comprehensive range of financial services to customers across the Chinese mainland, as well as 47 countries and regions.

BOC has a 100-year-old history and has built up an excellent brand image widely recognized within the industry and by its customers.

In the Philippines BOC’s Manila branch has a full commercial banking license and has been in operations since 2002.□

Kathleen Joyce D. Bondoc, Office of the Undersecretary for Industry Promotion Group, Department of Trade and Industry

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