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Taiwan Stock Exchange, Aberdeen Standard, Taiwan Institute for Sustainable Energy Co-organized ESG Investment Promotion Forum to respond to new investment trends

Considering that ESG (Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance) - is oriented towards responsible investments which are rapidly growing globally, according to the Global Sustainable Investment Review, the globally responsible investment assets increased from 18.276 trillion US dollars between 2014 and 2016. At 22.89 trillion US dollars, the growth rate reached 25.2%. The Taiwan Stock Exchange, Aberdeen Standard Investment and Taiwan Institute for Sustainable Energy held the "ESG Investment Promotion Forum" on the afternoon of May 7th and the International Conference Center of the National Taiwan University Hospital. The speech was delivered by the Chairman of the Taiwan Institute for Sustainable Energy, Amb. Eugene Chien, and the Deputy General Manager of the Taiwan Stock Exchange, Chen Li-qing. This forum brings together about 200 corporate executives and investment corporations to analyze Taiwan's ESG sustainable investment trends.

Figure 1. The ESG Forum invited the Chairman of Taiwan Institute for Sustainable Energy, Amb. Eugene Chien (left), the Deputy General Manager of the Taiwan Stock Exchange, Chen Li-qing (middle), and the Head of Corporate Governance at Aberdeen Standards Investment Management (right) David Smith.

Figure 2. Speech by Amb. Eugene Chien, Chairman of Taiwan Institute for Sustainable Energy

This forum invites Chairman and Representative of Taiwan Institute for Sustainable Energy, Amb. Eugene Chien, to share the trend of Taiwan's ESG investment. At the same time, he also invited David A. Smith, Head of Corporate Governance at Aberdeen Standards Investment Management, to share investment in ESG- Combined analysis. In addition, Yu Zongpu, vice-president of the Taiwan Stock Exchange, also shared the issue of corporate governance in China, and the discussion on the scene was quite warm.

The Chairman of Taiwan Institute for Sustainable Energy, Amb. Eugene Chien, pointed out that Taiwanese companies have continued to grow in the past decade. The number of corporate sustainability reports is based on the domestic report platform statistics from more than 10 in 2008. Growing up to 528 in 2018, the "TCSA Taiwan Corporate Sustainability Award" has grown to 236 participating companies, and the total turnover of participating companies and 2017 GDP is about 82%. In 2018, the Alliance for Sustainable Development Goals was established in conjunction with industry and government experts to work for sustainable development. In 2018, Taiwanese companies were selected into the DJSI World Index or Emerging Markets Index by 21 companies. The world-renowned Bloomberg Peng Bo Finance has ranked 7th in the global ranking of ESG in terms of transparency. In addition, two CDP carbon disclosure projects have been selected for the A List, which is quite excellent. These achievements prove that Taiwan's sustainable development performance has gradually received international recognition. 

David A. Smith, Head of Corporate Governance at Aberdeen Standards Investment Management Asia, shares the ESG portfolio analysis considerations. David Smith pointed out that Aberdeen believes that a comprehensive assessment of ESG factors, coupled with constructive company involvement, can lead to better customer investment outcomes mainly because of the financial importance of ESG factors, affecting company performance, understanding ESG risks, investment opportunities, and integrating other financial indicators to help make investment decisions. David also pointed out that Taiwan has always been at the forefront of corporate governance, but while moving forward, reforms that do not have macro-forward perspectives and systematic thinking will hinder progress. He also pointed out that investors often want to obtain information from companies including strategic analysis, corporate governance, finance and risk management. 

Deputy General Manager Chen Li-qing of the Stock Exchange and Deputy General Manager Yu Zong-pu of the Corporate Governance Department said that the institutional investors in China have implemented policies due to diligence, and as institutional investors accounted for the increasing proportion of transactions in China's trading market, more and more institutional investors have signed the due diligence code and participated in corporate governance by attending shareholder meetings, exercising voting rights, and properly engaging in dialogue and interaction with the management.

Figure 3. ESG Panel Discussion, hosted by Yu Zong-pu, deputy director of the Corporate Governance Department of the Stock Exchange (first right). (From left) David Smith, Head of Corporate Governance, Aberdeen Standards Investment Management Asia, Deputy General Manager of Cathay Life Insurance, Mr. Lin Shi-qiao, Director of Taiwan Index Company Chen Wen-lian, and Director of National Sustainable Development Research Center of National Taipei University, Mr. Zhan Chang.  

At the end of the forum, Yu Zong-pu, Vice chairman, presided over the talks. Director of the Taiwan Index Company Chen Wenlian, Director of the National Sustainable Development Research Center of National Taipei University, Mr. Zhan, Director of Corporate Management of Aberdeen Standards Investment Management Asia David Smith and Deputy General Manager of Cathay Life Insurance Lin Shi-qiao shared the ESG investment. Investing in ESG-related commodities is no longer just for charity. Under the joint promotion of industry, government, research and non-profit organizations, corporate ESG performance is gradually integrated into investment analysis and evaluation, and the investment.