TIMES 4TH BUSINESS FORUM Asean integration opens opportunities for local, regional banks — ADB’s Ng 

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MANILA-based Asian Development Bank (ADB) said Wednesday the financial integration within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) opens opportunities for local banks in the Philippines as well as to foreign banks.
“We see potential to benefit both sides,” Thiam Hee Ng, principal economist at ADB, said before The Manila Times 4th Business Forum, at the Marriott Hotel Manila, in Pasay City.
In a speech titled “The Impact of Integration in Philippine Banks,” Ng said Philippine banks are smaller and may not be able to compete in terms of size against many foreign banks, but they have better knowledge of the local environment.
“They should know the locals… They should have an idea what kinds of products appeal to the customers,” he said.
Foreign banks, on the other hand, bring greater competition and better services to consumers.
“Local banks have an opportunity to tap into partnerships with foreign banks,” Ng said at the forum, whose theme is “Philippine Banking: Does Size Matter.” MAYVELIN U. CARABALLO 
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