The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) recently published The Landscape of Impact Investing in South East Asia, the first-ever detailed analysis of impact investing activity across South East Asia. The report was commissioned by Investing in Women, an initiative of the Australian Government, which is partnering with impact investors to grow impact investments in women owned and led SMEs in South East Asia.
Key insights from the report will be presented at regional events entitled “Impact Investing in Asia: a Diverse and Dynamic Market.” Investing in Women is sponsoring the events in the following countries, where speakers from GIIN, the impact investing community, family offices, Investing in Women, and the Australian Government are expected:
- Philippines (Makati City) on 12 November,
- Indonesia (Jakarta) on 14 November, and
- Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City) on 16 November.
The Asia Pacific region has been the fastest growing impact investing market worldwide over the past five years. The dynamic economies of Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam are propelling this growth—for both private impact investors (PIIs) and development finance institutions (DFIs). The report reveals that (since 2007) PIIs have deployed USD 904 million through 225 direct deals, and DFIs have deployed USD 11.3 billion through 289 direct deals. The ecosystem for impact investing (from supply, demand, and intermediary sides) remains largely embryonic. More targeted market-building activities are needed to ensure that impact investing in the region evolves from a niche market offering to a mainstream investment category, especially for Asian philanthropists and investors.
Importantly, moving capital with a gender lens can unlock a significant under-served market and additional social impacts. The report also finds that there is increasing awareness and uptake gender lens investment (GLI) strategies, where investments seek to address gender disparities and/or examine gender dynamics to inform better investment decisions. A growing number of investors have started developing GLI strategies in recent years, with USD 40 million deployed into more than 30 deals in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam. No DFI invests intentionally with a gender lens across the region.
“Interest in gender lens investing is increasing in South East Asia, largely due to targeted, market-building activities by ecosystem builders, donors, and bilateral and multilateral development agencies.” – The Landscape of Impact Investing in South East Asia
As the first-ever detailed analysis of impact investing activities across the region, the landscape report was based on thorough analysis of relevant literature, large volumes of transaction data, and extensive interviews with key industry stakeholders. The research team conducted interviews with over 100 stakeholders, a thorough review of existing research, and aggregate analysis of over 500 impact investing transactions made over the past decade.
Detailed country chapters (on Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam) include information on the supply of capital by investor type, investment opportunities by sector, and regulatory considerations and hurdles for impact investors and investees.