Promoting Responsible Agricultural Investment in ASEAN

The current increase in investment in the agriculture, food, and forestry sectors in ASEAN is critical to help achieve food and nutrition security while creating economic growth and opportunities. That investment must be responsible, sustainable, and directed toward the achievement of social, economic, and environmental benefits while minimizing negative impacts.

Creation of the ASEAN RAI Guidelines

As a result of Grow Asia’s expertise in convening multi-stakeholder partnerships, the ASEAN Secretariat requested Grow Asia’s support in developing the ASEAN Guidelines on Promoting Responsible Investment on Food, Agriculture, and Forestry (ASEAN RAI). The ASEAN RAI was formally adopted by the ASEAN Ministers of Agriculture and Forestry in October 2018. It is a guidance framework that aims to ensure larger-scale agribusiness investments are socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable and inclusive, and contribute to regional economic development, food and nutrition security, food safety and the sustainable use of natural resources.

Grow Asia is now working to support the implementation of the ASEAN RAI, together with the Institute for International Development (IISD), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and with funding from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). We are also working to implement the ASEAN RAI through partnerships with ASEAN Member States (AMS), agribusinesses, financial institutions, farmer organizations and NGOs. 

During Phase 1 (2020-2022) of the implementation plan, Grow Asia and our partners will:

  • Develop an ASEAN Learning and Accreditation Program (LAP) for government officials, private sector, and civil society actors to increase understanding and uptake of the ASEAN-RAI.

  • Actively engage SMEs, large ASEAN firms, global companies, and financial/impact investors to apply the ASEAN-RAI to future investments through cases studies, investment data and scoring tools.

  • Improve the capacity and knowledge of all stakeholders in implementing the ASEAN-RAI through regional and national forums and capacity-building events.

  • Work to improve the legal and policy frameworks in ASEAN Member States (where requested) to guide and enhance responsible private agricultural investments.

Phase 3

  • Train 400 experts through LAP to guide future investments using RAI​

  • Support intra-AMS policy analysis and support​

  • Measure long-term impact of RAI in ASEAN

Phase 2

  • Embed LAP in national institutions​

  • Support 2-3 additional AMS​

  • Facilitate use of RAI impact assessment tools among investors

Phase 1

  • Pilot Learning and Accreditation program (LAP)​

  • Support 2-3 AMS to integrate RAI into policies​

  • Share case studies to increase uptake of RAI​

  • Establish ASEAN baseline of investments

Engage with Us

  • Share your stories of responsible investments for our case study series 

  • Join one of our upcoming regional & national learning events to gain new skills and share best practices  

  • Contribute content to our Learning and Accreditation Programme curriculum  

  • Send staff to attend our pilot Learning and Accreditation Programme (starting end 2021) 

  • AMS - request legal and technical support to integrate the ASEAN RAI into policy frameworks   

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We are grateful for support from the following organizations for the development and implementation of the ASEAN RAI

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Grow Asia partners with the following organizations to implement the ASEAN RAI



Erin Sweeney 

Manager, Sustainable Business & Investment

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