SDGs and Business Contribution in Southeast Asia


About the Webinar

Established by the United Nations in 2015, the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) collectively provide a comprehensive framework for actions to achieve sustainable development across the world. Governments increasingly recognise the importance of aligning post-pandemic economic and social recovery with SDGs. The goal of this inaugural joint ISEAS-RIETI webinar is to take stock of the current progress achieved in meeting some of the key elements of SDGs in Southeast Asia. It will begin with a presentation of Southeast Asia’s overall SDG progress and the recent the Climate Change Outlook Survey conducted by ISEAS. This will be followed by a presentation on SDGs in Indonesia. Two presenters from the private sector will then discuss the contributions of and opportunities for businesses in the region.

Opening Remarks

Choi Shing Kwok was appointed Director and CEO of ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute on 15 January 2018 and also took on the role of Head of ASEAN Studies Centre at the institute in March 2020. Prior to this appointment, he was Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources from 2012 to 2017. Mr Choi held the post of Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transport from 2005 to 2012.

Makoto YANO is Chairman of Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI); Project Professor of Institute of Economic Research, Kyoto University (KIER); and Professor by Special Appointment of Sophia University. He served as President of Japanese Economic Association (2008-2009). He holds a Ph.D. in economics from University of Rochester. His current research interests are dynamics, law and economics, and market quality.

About the Speakers

Sharon Seah is Senior Fellow and Coordinator at the ASEAN Studies Centre and concurrently Coordinator of the Climate Change in Southeast Asia Programme at the ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute. Prior to joining the ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute, Ms Seah was Associate Director at the Centre for International Law, National University of Singapore. She spent 14 years in the National Environment Agency and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Singapore prior to entering academia, including a diplomatic posting to Bangkok, Thailand from 2003 to 2007. Ms Seah maintains an interest in ASEAN rule of law, multilateralism climate change and environmental issues. Ms Seah graduated with a Master in Public and International Law from the University of Melbourne in 2018. She co-edited 50 Years of ASEAN and Singapore (World Scientific: 2017) with Professor Tommy Koh and Ms Chang Li Lin. She also edited Building a New Legal Order for the Oceans (NUS Press: 2019) authored by Professor Tommy Koh.

Yanuar Nugroho is Visiting Fellow at ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute in Singapore. He was Deputy Chief of Staff at the Executive Office of the President (KSP) of the Republic of Indonesia (2015-2019). From 2012-2014 he was a Director and Expert Adviser to the Minister/Head of the President’s Delivery Unit for Development Monitoring and Oversight (UKP-PPP/UKP4). He was one of Indonesia’s capital negotiators for the UN for inter-governmental negotiation on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2013-2015. He was then responsible for coordinating the attainment of SDGs and Open Government Partnership (OGP) in Indonesia together with the Ministry of National Planning. Yanuar is co-founder and adviser to the Centre for Innovation Policy and Governance, a Jakarta-based think tank. He is also an Honorary Research Fellow, after holding a fulltime academic post from 2004-2014, in Political Economy of Innovations and Social Change at Manchester Institute of Innovation Research, Alliance Manchester Business School, University of Manchester, United Kingdom.

Virendra Shelar is an Executive Officer of OMRON Corporation, the General Manager of Global Human Resource Strategy Department and President of OMRON Management Center of Asia Pacific, Inc. In his role as General Manager of Global Human Resource Strategy Department, he drives deployment of key HR strategies to meet OMRON’s talent needs and drive business growth globally. As President of OMRON Management Center of Asia Pacific, he leads a team that supports 22 business entities with more than 5200 employees in Asia Pacific, a key growth region for OMRON. Shelar joined OMRON in 2014, as General Manager – HR and has over 20 years of experience in leadership development, talent management, competency assessment and business performance management. Prior to joining OMRON, he led learning & organizational development initiatives for companies like International Rectifiers, Schneider Electric and Sony Electronics across Asia. He was a key player in setting up the Sony University (Singapore Campus, Jan 2012). Virendra holds bachelor’s degree in Instrumentation Engineering from Mumbai University.

Kihoko Tokue is Managing Director of Leave a Nest Singapore and Founder of Leave a Nest Malaysia. Dr Tokue is responsible for expanding Leave a Nest Group business in the Asia Pacific region. Leave a Nest Singapore brings solution to the society through various means. For example, the company provides science education programs for school students as well asl provides support for young professionals in the Science field in academia as well as in private sectors’ new business creation. Dr Tokue was born in Tokyo but raised in Southeast Asia, studied bachelor degree in America and then moved to Australia to pursue her Master and PhD degrees. Currently she is creating platform in ASEAN to nurture the next generation innovators, and deep tech startups involving business development partners from industry. Her dream is to one day bring a change to a world with advancement of science and technology for global happiness by bridging between Southeast Asia and Japan.



This webinar will be delivered online entirely. You can join the webinar at the specified date and time using devices (computer, phone, or tablet) with internet connection.

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If you have questions for the speaker and discussants, please key in your questions via the Q&A, stating your name and affiliation. The moderator will field them to the speaker and the discussants during the Q&A session.


May 25 2021


11:00 am - 12:30 pm