The Asian Institute of Chartered Bankers (AICB) and UK-based Global Ethical Finance Initiative (GEFI) co-organised the second instalment of the Ethical Finance ASEAN virtual summit (EF ASEAN 2023) on 30 March 2023, featuring finance and ESG leaders from Southeast Asia, the wider APAC region and beyond.
This year’s theme, “Financing Transition”, explored how financial institutions in the region can support Southeast Asian economies in their transition towards net zero. Discussions also covered the ASEAN Sustainable Finance Taxonomy, the importance of a social dimension to financing, nature and biodiversity, the role of Islamic finance, and the professional skills needed to deliver the transition.
EF ASEAN 2023 attracted over 1,500 delegates from over 90 countries from across the world. The esteemed line-up of speakers comprised, among others, leading financial and corporate leaders, academicians, analysts and policymakers from various institutions, including abrdn, Beijing Institute of Finance and Sustainability, BNP Paribas Asset Management, Chartered Banker Institute, Citi Private Bank, Finance Earth, HSBC Amanah Malaysia Berhad, Maybank Islamic Berhad, Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), PT Sarana Multi Infrastruktur (Persero), S&P Global, Standard Chartered Malaysia, Sustainable Finance Institute Asia, Thoughts in Gear, and World Wide Fund for Nature.
Key highlights of the discussions covered: the new ASEAN sustainable finance taxonomy, how to mobilise private capital for climate finance, the risks and opportunities associated with nature financing, the need to consider the just transition and the potential of sustainable Islamic finance.
AICB Chairman Tan Sri Azman Hashim said: “This is the second consecutive year that AICB is collaborating with GEFI on the Ethical Finance ASEAN conference. Given that the investment needs for climate action are the greatest in the ASEAN region, it is imperative to continue these important conversations on the urgency of transition financing and climate action in the region and how the banking and financial sector are progressing.”
Global Ethical Finance Initiative Managing Director Omar Shaikh added: “ASEAN is a key part of the world economy, with countries at every stage of development. The region is uniquely vulnerable to climate change, and is one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots, so securing sustainable transition financing for the future in ASEAN is a vital part of the global climate challenge. We are delighted to work with AICB to develop capacity in ASEAN and understanding of ASEAN.”