Dec 2018-Jan 2019

EDITORIAL: A greener future

Romil_PatelChina is a master of longevity – its ancient traditions and enduring culture underlie its current transition to a global superpower. In recent decades, industrialisation has brought China great wealth. But such dramatic changes have come at a cost. Beijing has realised it can no longer be a sleeping giant on the environmental front if it aspires to lead the world order. Whichever country spearheads the transition to a greener future could well emerge as the next hegemon. To give an idea of the trajectory, for every dollar invested in the environment on a global basis, half is in China. Institutional investors will no doubt be eyeing opportunities in China as the country opens up to further foreign investment. There are challenges, of course. Despite its progress on renewable energy, China still has some way to go on the “social” and “governance” aspects of the ESG concept. While Beijing is evidently taking the environment seriously (there were 3,500 prosecutions for environmental crime in the first ten months of 2018), Chinese and Asian companies must improve corporate governance standards and gender diversity. Given Asia’s reputation for getting things done, combined with Beijing’s long-term approach, ESG investing in China is one to watch. Romil Patel, editor, Funds Global Asia ©2019 funds global asia

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