Commerzbank has appointed Thomas Debelic and Hans-Kurt Schäfer as senior representatives for its Ho Chi Minh City and Taipei offices, respectively.

Schäfer replaces Debelic, who headed the Taiwan office since 2012. Debelic takes over from Norbert Kraatz, who has retired from his role at the Vietnam office. From Ho Chi Minh City, he will also oversea Commerzbank’s Cambodia and Laos business.

GTR understands that the focus will be on building relationships with local banks and local government agencies for facilitating mainly trade finance, but also export finance. Their responsibility is to advise European –and particularly German – companies on risk and the local trading environments, especially as Vietnam is a more emerging market.

The representatives will also be in charge of letter of credit business, confirming transactions and liaising between exporters, importers, and local Taiwanese and Vietnamese banks on a personal basis.

Debelic, who joined Commerzbank in 2001 and, before moving to Asia, headed the bank’s representative office in Romania, says: “I look forward to my new position in Vietnam and hope to bring my experience of working with emerging financial markets and micro finance-strategies to Southeast Asia. I would also like to thank my predecessor, Norbert Kraatz, for having built a solid foundation of expertise and contacts in this fast-developing part of Asia.”

Schäfer started his Commerzbank career in 1989, with Asia roles including relationship manager for Greater China, head of the financial institutions business in Hong Kong and chief representative at the Bangkok office.

“I am excited to be returning to Asia and adding to 30 years of experience working there and closely monitoring its development. Taiwan, in particular, is an interesting country and a market with great opportunities for engaging with the wider global economy. I would like to wish Thomas Debelic well on his new position and hope to build on his crucial work in Taiwan,” he says.

Commerzbank is represented at 70 locations in 50 countries worldwide.