Editor's Note: This article was first published on April Dialog. Dr Tony Whitten is Regional Director, Asia Pacific, Fauna & Flora International (FFI). FFI is RER’s technical partner, managing key elements of the...
In recognition of his significant contributions to the development of the Beijing municipality, Mr. Sukanto Tanoto was given the Jinghua Award by the Deputy Secretary of Municipal Party Committee and Mayor Wang Anshun at the Overseas Chinese Affairs meeting in Beijing, China in May 2014.
Indonesian-born businessman Mr Tanoto is the founder of the RGE, the $15 billion family of natural resources companies such as Asia Pacific Resources International Ltd (APRIL), Asia Symbol, Sateri Holdings, and Pacific Oil & Gas. Mr. Tanoto’s business has grown from humble beginnings in Indonesia to many countries, including holdings in Brazil and China.
Mr Tanoto gained prominence in the Indonesian and Southeast Asian business world while maintaining positive relationships with China and other countries. For example, the RGE group of companies has invested over $6 billion in China and created more than 10,000 jobs.
Sukanto Tanoto supporting Beijing
Sukanto Tanoto has for many years been supportive of the development of the Beijing Municipality. He was the largest donor to the Water Cube National Swimming Center, an Olympic venue at the 2008 Beijing Games. His contribution totaled about $5 million. He also made the largest single contribution during the SARS epidemic.
In China, the Tanoto Foundation, which was established in 2001 by Sukanto Tanoto and his family to alleviate poverty and contribute to social progress, has been actively involved in the establishment of schools in rural areas such as Tibet, Xinjiang and Qinghai, which lack sufficient resources.
This has helped numerous Chinese students in their quest to obtain a high-quality education. Skills training has also been provided to farmers in the western poverty-stricken areas to help them break out of the poverty cycle. The foundation has also contributed significantly toward disaster relief and infrastructure reconstruction in China following several floods and earthquakes in recent years.
Tanoto Foundation is a non-profit organisation established in 2001 by Sukanto Tanoto and his family, whose philanthropy dates back to 1981. It strives to be the centre of excellence in poverty alleviation through education, empowerment, and enhancement of quality of life.