Participants celebrate the opening ceremony of a Korean Federation of Community Credit Cooperatives (KFCC) branch at the Luk52 village in Phonhong, Vientiane Province, Laos, in early April. Photo courtesy of KFCC

Korean entity tries to offer financial services to more people

The Korean Federation of Community Credit Cooperatives (KFCC) announced on April 11 that the outfit had hosted opening events of three branches in as many rural areas of Laos last week.

They are three villages, including Luk52, Namlin and Dongkhao, which are located in Phonhong, the capital of Vientiane Province.

Toward that end, the KFCC has held general meetings and educational sessions to obtain the endorsement of the regional governments.

The KFCC tapped into Laos in 2019 in a full-fledged manner as its third overseas operation after Myanmar and Uganda. Thereafter, it also waded into Fiji.

Over the past three years, the top apex organization for Korea’s cooperative banking sector established three branches in the above-mentioned villages of Laos.

The KFCC said that already more than 100 residents of Laos had participated in the branches. And the opening ceremonies are expected to attract more customers.

“By joining hands with such related organizations as the KOICA and the Korea Environment Corporation, we will help realize the inclusive finance in Laos,” KFCC Chairman Park Cha-hoon said.

“The efforts are part of our initiatives of achieving the ESG management principles.”

Short for Environmental, Social, and corporate Governance, ESG refers to the three central factors in measuring the sustainability of a corporation or business.

“In some Asian and African countries, so many residents don’t have access to banking services. If we can help such nations enrich their financial services, that would be good not only for them but also for us,” Prof. Seo Yong-gu at Sookmyung Women’s University said.

“In fact, more and more Korean financial companies are encouraged to tap into developing nations in Asia and Africa.”