Thai banks are set to expand their footprint in countries such as Cambodia and Vietnam, with an aim to play a major role in upcoming Asean Economic Community (AEC).

The banks include Bangkok Bank, Krungthai Bank, Kasikornbank and Siam Commercial Bank.

Krungthai Bank and Siam Commercial Bank have already opened their first representative offices in Myanmar in 2013, whereas Kasikornbank will open its first office on 16 April. Bangkok Bank will soon reopen a branch in Cambodia to provide financial support for non-Thai firms.

Bangkok Bank executive vice chairman, Deja Tulananda, said although that country’s economy is small, the bank has determined that having a presence there could help it make investment and trading connections with regional companies.

Bangkok Bank further plans to open one or two branches in Vietnam and its third branch in Medan, Indonesia.

Meanwhile, Krungthai Bank first senior executive vice president, Weidt Nuchjalearn, said they already have two branches in Cambodia and is currently upgrading its financial-services centre in Chong Jom, near Thailand into a branch.

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Kasikornbank president, Predee Daochai, said they plan to establish a footprint in Vietnam and Indonesia.

"In the first phase, it will open representative offices in those countries to offer trade-finance services to Thai companies. It will upgrade these offices to branches as the next step," Doachai added.