The Asian Bankers’ Association (ABA) has elected Rajendra Theagarajah, Managing Director /CEO of HNB as the new ABA Chairman at the 27th ABA General Meeting held in Taipei, Taiwan from 1 - 2 November 2010.
This appointment is for the next two years (2011 – 2012). Along with this, the ABA also appointed a new Board of Directors comprising 25 members from 20 countries. The ABA is the foremost Commercial Banks’ Association with a current membership of over 100 leading banks from 23 countries in the Asia Pacific Region.
The ABA was first established in 1981 with the primary objective to provide a venue for an exchange of views and information on banking opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region; to facilitate the meeting of bankers in the region in an atmosphere of fellowship and friendship; to encourage joint activities that would enhance the role of its members in servicing the financial needs of their respective economies and in promoting regional development; and to undertake projects that will encourage trade, industrial, and investment cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region.
The Taipei ABA General Meeting and Conference was attended by 200 leading bankers and bank regulators from 20 countries around the region. This year’s ABA gathering took place under the theme” Asian Banking: Sustaining Business Recovery Amidst a Changing Financial Landscape”. The main topics discussed included “Regional Economic Integration and Financial Inclusion in Asia”, Green Banking: Challenges and Opportunities Ahead” and “The Emergence of China’s Banks as Global Players: Implications for Asian Banks. The conference also featured a “CEO Forum of Thought Leadership”
President Ma Ying-Jeou of the Republic of China addressed opening ceremony of the conference as a special guest of honour while the key note speaker was Dr. Cyn-Young Park, Principal Economist, Office of Regional Economic integration at the Asian Development Bank.
During its Taipei meeting, the ABA also discussed internal policy issues and took action on a number of important matters, including the following:
The new Board elected Rajendra Theagarajah, Managing Director and CEO of Hatton National Bank of Sri Lanka, as the new ABA Chairman, replacing Susan Chang, Chairperson of Bank of Taiwan.
Lorenzo V. Tan, President and CEO of Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation in the Philippines was named the new ABA Vice Chairman, taking over from Theagarajah.
The ABA adopted its 2011-2012 Work Programme outlining activities over the next two years in the area of policy advocacy, information exchange, training and professional development, strengthening relationship with other regional and international organisations, and membership expansion.
The ABA admitted four new members, including EN Bank from Iran, Bank Pasargad from Iran; Microcredit Bank from Uzbekistan, and Saigon-Hanoi Bank from Vietnam.
The ABA also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Association of Development Financing Institutions in Asia and the Pacific (ADFIAP), and another one with the Association for Sustainable and Responsible Investment in Asia (ASriA). The MOUs outlined possible areas of cooperation between the organisations that would redound to the benefit of their respective members.
The ABA agreed to hold its 28th General Meeting and Conference in Colombo, Sri Lanka in 2011 to be hosted by the Hatton National Bank. The exact date and venue will be announced later after further consultation with the host bank.