The Taiwan Monthly

Jan. 2024

Market & ETP Overview

TWSE hosted the “ESG Index Investment Seminar,” exploring new opportunities in the development of sustainable investments

To grasp the trends of sustainable investing and leverage the impact of ESG investments, the Taiwan Stock Exchange (the TWSE) held the "ESG Index Investment Seminar" on the afternoon of December 14. The seminar invited industry experts to discuss the future trends of sustainable investing, explore diverse opportunities in sustainability, and attracted over 120 guests from the asset management and securities industries to participate in the event.


Mr. Lih-Chung Chien, President of the TWSE emphasized that ESG is no longer just a part of risk management; both companies and investors can leverage ESG index-based products to influence the market. As a significant platform in the capital market, the TWSE, in alignment with government initiatives for net-zero emissions and regulatory policies on sustainability, collaborates with market participants to develop diversified ESG products. This aims to achieve sustainable innovation and fulfill the responsibility and mission of the TWSE. The number and scale of ESG products have been growing annually, reflecting investors' increasing emphasis on sustainable investments. With Taiwan's ongoing enhancement of ESG information disclosure, market participants continue to develop more products, guiding funds into sustainability. This encourages companies to place greater emphasis on ESG, creating a positive cycle. As Taiwan's development of index investment enters its 20th year, the market has a solid foundation to expand into the field of sustainable investment and discover more opportunities.


The seminar included one keynote speech and two panel discussions. Ms. Christine Chang, General Manager of Sustainability Service, delivered the keynote speech. She emphasized that global and Taiwanese sustainable investments represent nearly 40% of total investments. Nevertheless, surveys indicate persistent challenges domestically, including insufficient data disclosure, and difficulty in comparing performance and measuring impact. Global investors also lack confidence in the information provided in sustainability reports. Therefore, it is recommended that continuous efforts be made to enhance ESG information disclosure in alignment with international standards. Strengthening assurance in sustainable information and prioritizing quality will significantly contribute to the advancement of sustainable investments. Investors not only prioritize sustainable information disclosure but also show increasing interest regarding how companies integrate sustainability issues into their business models. This integration is crucial for investment decisions. Presently, it is the critical moment for all market participants to accelerate progress. Companies should implement sustainable development strategies, enhance information disclosure, and collaborate with financial institutions. By collectively focusing on material ESG issues, they can guide funds toward enterprises with strong ESG performance, fostering mutual success and demonstrating the value of sustainable investment.


The first panel discussion, "Grasping the Trends and Impact of Sustainable Investment," was moderated by Ms. Rebecca Chen, SEVP of the TWSE.  Panelists included Dr. Hsiang-Lin Chih, Distinguished Professor of Finance and Cooperative Management at National Taipei University, Ms. Joyce Ip, Head of APAC Index Licensing, Nasdaq, and Ms. Tiffany Hsieh, Managing Director, Head of Taiwan for BlackRock. The discussion delved into the current status of global sustainable investment, the driving factors and key elements of the low-carbon transition, and the shaping of new investment opportunities by ESG trends. It particularly focused on opportunities and challenges in the Taiwan market. It explored how, in a fast-paced and diverse environment, various sectors can collaborate and leverage their strengths. The goal is to harness the profound impact of sustainable investments on both the economic and social aspects and collectively drive the development of sustainable finance in Taiwan.


The second panel discussion, "Exploring Diverse Opportunities in ESG Index Products," was hosted by Ms. Christine Cho, the President of Taiwan Index Plus. Panelists included Ms. Sharon Yang, Vice Chairperson at Pension Fund Association, R.O.C; Mr. Alex Wu, Convener, Taiwan Securities Association New Financial Products Committee and Mr. Morris Chen, President, CTBC INVESTMENTS. Pension funds aim to get long-term stable performance returns, and most commonly adopt a "Negative/Exclusionary Screening." Looking forward, they can take cues from international trends such as Japan's GPIF, which focuses on environmental or social issues. Both ETFs and ESG have become mainstream. Implementing ESG investments also requires balancing performance outcomes, and integrating ESG with other themes might be a crucial avenue for future ETF development. ETNs provide investors with smaller investment channels, making ESG investments more accessible. Simultaneously, to meet investor demands, product issuers will continue designing ESG products. The infusion of funds will incentivize companies to prioritize ESG initiatives, fostering a positive cycle wherein market participants collectively pursue sustainable development.


The seminar concluded successfully, receiving enthusiastic feedback. Thanks were extended to experts from both domestic and international arenas for sharing their knowledge and experiences, deeply exploring the diverse business opportunities in sustainable investments. The TWSE looks forward to collaborating with the financial industry, collectively constructing an ecosystem for ESG index-based products, and co-creating a more vibrant and sustainable finance future.

For further question, please contact Ms. Chang at

Mr. Lih-Chung Chien, President of the TWSE, delivers his remarks.

ESG Index Investment Seminar guests group photo