Ethical Performance
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Asia-wide bank scheme to boost SRI

October 2007

A bank programme promoting best practice and sustainable investment in the pensions industry in the Far East is to be headed by the Association for Sustainable and Responsible Investment in Asia (ASrIA).

The programme has been drawn up by the Asian Development Bank to improve investment performance and raise standards of fiduciary responsibility. ASrIA’s role will be to work with pension fund regulators, trustees and officers to support growth and encourage global SRI best practice.

The project is being backed by the Swiss government, which has given $210,000 (£105,000) for use in China, India, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam.

Daniel Wiedmer, an investment specialist in the bank’s private sector operations department, said: ‘The overall goal of the assistance is to support capacity building in the pension industries of the chosen developing member countries. It will focus on enhancing investment performance and improving standards in managing assets.’

An efficient pensions industry has become more important recently thanks to the changing demographics of Asia and the Pacific. A United Nations study five years ago predicted that the proportion of the population aged over 65 would double between 1995 and 2050. At the same time fewer younger people will be available to support the older population because of declining birth rates, and there will be fewer of working age to generate tax revenues – just when social security schemes may be vital.

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