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Social Investment Landscape in Asia

A guide to the opportunities for social investment in Asia


About This Report

The aim of this report is to understand and document the existing and emerging landscape for social investing in 14 social economies. Now in its second edition, the Social Investment Landscape in Asia serves as a resource for funders and resource providers to assess the opportunities and challenges for social investment.

We present insights from qualitative research examining the essential characteristics of the social economy – ‘attractiveness’ of the region for investment, development challenges being tackled, the influence of legislative environments and governments in triggering the social sector, key actors in the social investment landscape and their journeys, recent trends and developments, the ecosystem for social impact, and opportunities, challenges and recommendations.

If [Asia] continues to follow its recent trajectory, by 2050 its per capita income could rise 6-fold in purchasing power parity terms.

ADB, 2011, Asia 2050 – Realizing the Asian Century

Our Markets

14 Social Economies


Cambodia has an early-stage social economy with significant growth potential given increasing interest from social investors and intermediaries


China’s social economy is quickly maturing, with a high concentration of new wealth, a growing number of social investors and recent government commitments to create a conducive ecosystem

Hong Kong

The social economy in Hong Kong is growing rapidly with strong government support, a well-established philanthropic culture and increasing corporate sustainability efforts


The Indian social economy is one of the most advanced in Asia, driven by collaborative social investment, a relatively developed impact investing market and an engaged corporate sector


The Indonesian social economy is transitioning from being one largely based on a tradition of religious giving to one growing in its engagement with impact and sustainable investing and green finance


The social economy in Japan is one of the most mature in Asia driven by professionally managed foundations, increased interest from mainstream investors and innovative investment models


Malaysia’s government agencies and supportive sustainable finance policies, coupled with its status as a leader in Islamic finance, indicate the high growth potential for this developing social economy


Myanmar’s nascent social economy is poised for growth given growing investor interest, a diverse spectrum of incubators and accelerators and an increasingly enabling macro environment


The Philippines’ social economy is transitioning to the growth stage, driven by collaborative philanthropy and creative approaches to social funding such as pooled CSR funds


Singapore is building on its strong business environment and international attractiveness to establish itself as a regional hub for impact investing, sustainable finance and green finance

South Korea

South Korea’s strong government support for the social economy has led to a well-developed SE ecosystem and prominent government players in green and sustainable bonds


Taiwan’s social economy, catalysed by strong government support, has seen promising development across several sectors, including social enterprise, impact investing and green finance


Thailand’s social economy is relatively nascent but well-supported by the government, a rich tradition of religious giving and a proactive corporate sector


The Vietnamese social economy is in the early stage, driven largely by impact funds and intermediaries

Social Economy

Insights from the 14 Social Economies

Make Comparison Between 2 Social Economies

Evaluating investment opportunities between two social economies? Get in-depth analysis on social economy - ‘attractiveness’ for investment, development challenges, legislative influence, recent trends and a snapshot of the opportunities.

Fact File

Fact file provides an outlook for the 14 economies in Asia on their populations, GDP (PPP), Poverty, World Giving Index Rank and more.

Asia is one of the most dynamic regions in the world and home to many rapidly growing economies, which have resulted in great societal challenges associated with this growth as well as remarkable opportunities for philanthropy and social investment.

Asia’s diversity in terms of socio-economic environments and stages of development means there is no one-size-fits-all solution to the establishment of an impactful social economy.Recognising this, AVPN seeks to provide a holistic and contextual understanding of the 14 economies in Asia.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Dashboard

The SDG dashboard is a measure of the progress made by each social economy towards the goals and targets laid out in the United Nations SDGs.

Poverty reduction across most social economies has been impressive. However, India, Myanmar, and Cambodia still have over a quarter of the people living below the poverty line.

While emerging economies such as India, Cambodia, Myanmar, Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam have to address pressing social challenges in healthcare, sanitation, education and water, developed economies such as Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong are tackling ageing, growing inequalities, declining workforce, labour productivity and gender equality.

Environmental issues are uniformly red on the dashboard across social economies, from issues of energy access and infrastructure in emerging economies, to climate risk mitigation and natural resources management in the island countries of Asia.

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Social Investment Landscape in Asia