The ASEAN Guidelines
on Promoting Responsible Investment
in Food, Agriculture and Forestry
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states are rich in agricultural land and major exporters of agricultural - including fisheries and forestry products such as food, cash and medicinal crops. Private sector investment is widespread in the region, including by major ASEAN multinational enterprises (MNEs) and agribusiness MNEs from across the world. Private sector investment can be directly managed (e.g. farms and plantation), indirect (e.g. contract farming) or a combination of the two.

Opportunities and Challenges

Investment in food, agriculture - including fisheries and forestry is critical to provide employment, livelihoods and reduce poverty for rural and forest populations across ASEAN. An economically and environmentally robust and efficient agrobusiness value chain is also essential to ensure food and nutrition security for the region’s large and increasingly urban population.

Investment in food, agriculture - including fisheries and forestry affects ASEAN member states in the following key areas, among others:

Food & nutrition security

Climate change &
the environment

Land rights

Technical &
institutional capacity

Jobs & livelihoods

Project failure &
investor-state contracts


The primary purpose of the Guidelines is to promote investment in food, agriculture - including fisheries and forestry in the ASEAN region that contributes to regional economic development, food and nutrition security, food safety and equitable benefits, as well as the sustainable use of natural resources. The Guidelines distil the global best practices for ensuring that larger scale agribusiness investments are socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable and inclusive. It provides future partners of such investments - from the public, private and civil society sectors - a roadmap of the important ingredients in such future investments. The Guidelines aim to become the de facto foundation of these type of agricultural investments across the region. 


The ASEAN Guidelines on Promoting Responsible Investment in Food, Agriculture and Forestry
developed through an inclusive, multi-stakeholder process with support from:

© 2020 Grow Asia | The ASEAN Guidelines for Responsible Investment in Food, Agriculture and Forestry