The ASEAN CSR Network held an inaugural ceremony on 11 January 2011 in Singapore to celebrate its incorporation led by its founding members, namely, the ASEAN Foundation, Indonesia Business Links, International Chamber of Commerce-Malaysia, the League of Corporate Foundations (Philippines), CSR Club of Thai Listed Companies Association and Singapore Compact for CSR, which also hosts the Network’s secretariat. The ceremony was graced by H.E. Mr Zainul Abidin Rasheed, Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of Singapore who extended his congratulations to the Network on its incorporation as a company limited by guarantee in Singapore and expressed support to the attainment of its goals and objectives in promoting CSR in ASEAN.

In his address, ASEAN Foundation Executive Director Dr. Filemon A. Uriarte, Jr. highlighted the rationale behind the ASEAN CSR Network. Catalyzed by the ASEAN Foundation, the ASEAN CSR Network was established in line with the actions called for in the Blueprint for ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community that aims to engage the private sector in building the ASEAN Community through the promotion of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and in helping ensure that CSR is incorporated in the corporate agenda. Dr. Uriarte also shared that the ASEAN CSR Network will become a platform for networking, a repository of knowledge and capacity-builder on CSR, and a forum to promote cooperation among ASEAN stakeholders. Among the immediate initiatives of the Network is to build the capacities of other ASEAN Member States in the field of corporate social responsibility and to develop linkages and explore partnerships with other CSR groups within ASEAN and with ASEAN Dialogue Partners. He further explained that the ASEAN CSR Network will also work on harmonizing the understanding of CSR in the region with reference to international standards on social responsibility.

Representatives from the diplomatic corps and media attended the event. The Network also held its Board of Trustees Meeting on 11 January 2011. The Officers of the Network are: Mr. Edgardo Amistad of the League of Corporate Foundations (Philippines) as Chairman, Mr. Mohd. Shah bin Hashim of the International Chambers of Commerce – Malaysia is Deputy Chairman and Mr. Thomas Thomas of Singapore Compact for CSR, the Network’s secretariat, is the Chief Executive Officer. Members of the Board of Trustees are Ms Yanti Koestoer Triwadiantini, Executive Director of Indonesia Business Links, Dr Filemon A. Uriarte, Jr, Executive Director, ASEAN Foundation, Mr. Frederick Ho, Honorary Secretary of Singapore Compact for CSR and Mr Wattana Opanon-amata, President, CSR Club of the Thai Listed Companies Association.

The establishment of the ASEAN CSR Network is the culmination of two projects supported by the ASEAN Foundation through the Japan-ASEAN Solidarity Fund implemented by the Asian Institute of Management and the League of Corporate Foundations. -