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SRI 'offers business benefits in Asia'

November 2005

Socially and environmentally responsible investments and products offer strong business and job opportunities in the Asia Pacific region, says a new report from the Asian Development Bank.

The report, Asian Environment Outlook (AEO) 2005, estimates the present global market for environmental goods and services at $600billion (£335bn) and predicts it will pass $800bn within ten years.

Asia Pacific countries' share of this market is worth $37bn, but with an annual growth rate of between eight and 12 per cent, the world's fastest, the report forecasts it will triple to $100bn within ten years.

Nessim Ahmad, director of the bank's environment and social safeguards division, said: 'We now see that governments across our region - from India to Thailand to the People's Republic of China - are increasingly ready to take on environmental challenges. Enforcement of pollution control laws is tightening, budgets for environmental protection are increasing, and judiciaries are taking tougher stances.' He said there were also signs that consumers were demanding more environmentally friendly products.

The report, presented to the sixth Asia-Pacific Roundtable for Sustainable Consumption and Production in Melbourne, said a sustainable future for the region - and for the whole planet - needed greater corporate involvement and environmental responsibility.

Ahmad said: 'Industry, government and communities must come together to collaboratively solve environmental problems. The key is for governments to give the private sector the incentive and flexibility to find low-cost ways to meet agreed environmental management objectives.'




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