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Three Southeast Asian bourses mull creating ESG ecosystem

The exchanges believe that collaboration is a key in driving positive change in the region
By Goh Thean Eu   
September 21, 2023

The stock exchanges of Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand plan to explore creating an inter-regional environmental, social and governance-linked ecosystem to bolster business value creation and foster sustainable development across Southeast Asia.

The bourses describe the move as a “significant milestone in enhancing regional cooperation and advancing sustainability in Southeast Asia”.

“It also signifies a commitment to greening supply chains, while recognising the potential to optimise the interconnectedness and comparability of ESG data within the region,” they say in a statement on September 19, the day they sign a memorandum of understanding for the deal.

Their scope of collaboration includes identifying critical components of the ESG infrastructure to support companies in pursuing decarbonisation, establishing a ‘sandbox’ environment to facilitate trade and create new business opportunities, and leveraging expertise in ESG practices through workshops and training sessions.

According to Bursa Efek Indonesia President Director Iman Rachman, the deal “reflects our shared vision of creating a sustainable future for our capital markets”.

“We believe that collaboration is a key in driving positive change in the region,” he says.

Stock Exchange of Thailand President Pakorn Peetathawatchai sees the move leading to the creation of an interconnected ESG ecosystem, and supporting integration of the ten-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations markets as an asset class to attract international investors.

Meanwhile, Bursa Malaysia Chief Executive Officer Muhamad Umar Swift says the bourse aims to “enhance cross-border cooperation and seize opportunities to harmonise ESG measures and ESG infrastructure that promotes sustainable business practices in Southeast Asia” through the partnership.