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02 Mar OneConnect and SGX Collaborate on Establishing APAC ESG Platform
OneConnect Financial Technology [OCFT:US], a fintech subsidiary of Ping An Insurance Group [2318:HK], announced that the firm has inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Singapore Exchange (SGX) [SGX:SP] to jointly establish an ESG platform for the Asia-Pacific region (APAC), as reported by Qianlong.com on March 1. This platform will be launched officially in the first half of 2021 to support ESG information disclosures of Singapore-listed companies. Through this collaboration, OneConnect and SGX will assist investors to enhance their understanding and application integration in ESG by improving disclosure standards in the long-run, which aims to build a sustainable investment ecosystem. They will simplify the process of producing ESG reports by developing a series of technical solutions, establishing a hierarchical framework and standard indicators.
Tan Bin Ru, CEO of OneConnect’s Southeast Asia business, said that considering the needs of investors and regulatory requirements on ESG globally, enterprises should regularly publish reports with regards to ESG factors. The research conducted by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) shows that ESG information disclosures of enterprises is becoming increasingly important in Southeast Asia, while 130 companies out of the 205 interviewed firms reported their ESG-related issues. In addition, KPMG’s 2020 sustainability report survey shows that Singapore achieved significant development in third-party sustainability reports since 2017, increasing by 35%.
For China, there are some relevant suggestions for implementing ESG information disclosures. Relevant academic and scientific institutions should actively develop a voice to enhance market attention of ESG information disclosures. So far, ESG development in China still belongs to the frontier research field of the market, and all business entities and shareholders are taking a wait-and-see approach. Thus, the professional ability of some ESG-related academic institutions should be even more fully realized. Most important, Chinese supervisory departments and stock exchanges should establish complete frameworks of ESG information disclosures to promote and implement relevant policies and guidelines.