Activity Reports

Experts discuss ASEAN-Japan impact investment ecosystem at Nikkei Forum

The ASEAN Japan Centre (AJC) hosted a panel session, “Ecosystem of ASEAN-Japan Impact Investment,” on 23 October 2023 at the Nikkei Forum, “Frontiers in International Finance” with the aim of promoting and developing sustainable impact investment in ASEAN. 

ASEAN-Japan Centre’s commitment to driving Impact Investment in the region.  

AJC Recognizes that economies thrive when development is approached holistically and is approaching it from various perspectives, including community-focus, trust and mentorship to foster collaboration between ASEAN governments. AJC’s efforts would facilitate an opportunity to include impact investment in ASEAN 2045. 

Impact Investment is Innovation. 

Impact investment is a form of Innovation that emphasizes measuring impact and establishing consensus on how to do that. It innovates by endeavoring to create a new, outer market, where people recognize the capitalization of social value. The International Sustainability Standards Board is an innovation that aims to establish new standards that can influence the economy moving forward. 

Japan has put impact investing? at the centre of its national strategy. 

Prime Minister, Kishida established the working group of Impact Investment in October 2022, as part of the measures in pursuit of a ‘new form of capitalism’ policy. “We are part of society, economies. In terms of impact on the economy, the individual is central to the change. Scale with integrity”, said Mr. Michiru Toda, Social Innovation and Investment Foundation, SIIF. The UNDP certification standard of impact management goes beyond impact indicators and verifies how management principles are changed and audited. Social impact will be integrated into the financial sector. 

Challenges remain in the advancement of impact initiatives. 

Mr. Vikas, Arora, Asian Venture Philanthropy Network, AVPN, has identified several challenges that remain in the advancement of impact initiatives, including the reality perception of impact investment being perceived as philanthropy, the lack of awareness and familiarity of impact investment and its methodology, and the limited regulatory foundation and support.  Mr. Toda cites that while Prime Minister Kishida has committed to impact-driven initiatives, there remains a reality perception gap. However, he affirms that impact starts intentionally, for both impact and change. 

Way Forward

As Ms. Omkaew Wechayachai from Global Steering Group for Impact Investment, GSG, the moderator of the session, has stated, impact investment can create opportunities for innovation and value creation as ways to unlock new markets by addressing pressing global challenges such as clean energy, education and health care. AJC will commit to driving impact investment in the region and promoting it as an enabler for various actors such as entrepreneurs, investors, governments and private companies. 

Nikkei Forum- Frontiers of International Finance 

Frontiers in International Finance | Nikkei Forum ( 

AJC’s panel session: Ecosystem of ASEAN-Japan Impact Investment 
Date: 24 October 2023, 15:35-16:25 
Venue: KABUTO ONE Conference Hall 
Audience (Nikkei report) : Participants at Hall: 96  Online Participants: 1,780 
Dr. Kunihiko Hirabayashi, Secretary General, ASEAN-Japan Centre 
Mr. Michiru Toda, Deputy Chief of Impact Economy Laboratory, Social Innovation and Investment Foundation (SIIF), the Secretariat Lead for Japan GSG National Advisory Boad. 
Dr. Ken Ito, Executive Director, Social Value Japan  
Mr. Vikas Arora, Chief of Impact Investment, Asian Venture Philanthropy Network, AVPN 
Ms. Omkaew Wechayachai, Head of Market Development, the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment (GSG) 

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