Champion of the Earth | SENATUS



Champion of the Earth

As Singapore and the rest of Asia prepares for the royal visit of HRH Prince Albert II de Monaco, we talk to the President of the Monaco-Asia Society, Francesco M. BONGIOVANNI.

The Monaco-Asia Society is a non-profit organization where HRH Prince Albert is the honorary chairman. It aims to build bridges between Asia and Monaco. HRH Prince Albert II de Monaco will hold his first fundraising dinner in Asia on April 23, 2008 and in conjunction with this visit, the Diane Fay Roundtable will be organized with Monaco-Asia Society to discuss the topic “How Successful Companies Care About the Environment."

In this interview, Monaco-Asia Society President Francesco gives his high-valued opinions on business markets in Asia and Europe, the similarities he sees between Monaco and Singapore, and cites the countries he believes has the best business promise in Asia. He also talks about HRH Prince Albert's 'Champion of the Earth' Award, given by the United Nations.

FULL NAME: Francesco M. Bongiovanni
EDUCATION: a Harvard MBA with an Engineering Doctorate

Can you please tell us about the "Champion of the Earth" award that Prince Albert II de Monaco is getting. What does that award mean to Monaco?
Monaco is a small place, but the effort its Sovereign makes in terms of promoting environmental and humanitarian causes is tremendous. The award is a tribute to this effort.

In your opinion what is the best industry in Europe that Asian investors should get into?
Europe sounds quite complex to many Asians, because each country has its own language, and regulations are complex and differ in many cases. But Europe represents 21% of the world's GDP, ahead of the US. It may generally be considered a mature market, yet there are areas of fast growth and many opportunities in many sectors. Eastern Europe, for example offers tremendous opportunities.

What about Monaco in particular, what are the business opportunities in the principality?
Monaco is small. But it can be a good base to do business into Europe.

How does the Monaco-Asia Society choose the causes it supports? What are these as of present?
The MAS objectives are a bit different from the usual NGOs. We only get involved in pinpoint innovative projects that we get excited about, mainly in the humanitarian and environmental fields, and which involve Monaco with Asia. We fund our administrative costs from our own pockets and tend to set up our projects in a very transparent and professional way, so that donors know exactly where their money is going. We rebuilt the tsunami destroyed village of Sirombu in the island of Nias in Indonesia. We created "The Blue Auction", the world's first multi species auction of names of newly discovered marine life to raise funds to protect the oceans. Our approach is cooperative: we strive to involve people and organizations from across the oceans and make them work together for a common cause.

From your view, what are the characteristics that Monaco and Singapore have in common?
They are both small city-states, although Singapore is way bigger than Monaco. They both have no natural resources, but have committed to use their brains to survive and prosper in a world where size matters.

Which countries in Asia do you think have the best business opportunitie, other than Singapore?
The most obvious that come to mind are China, India and Vietnam. But I believe the entire region is very dynamic and young. There seems to be opportunities almost everywhere, but as everything else, one has to work hard to make it happen.

For fellow members who wish to visit Monaco, what would be the best time to schedule a trip?
If you are still on time, try to come to the F1 Grand Prix. Other than this, the summer season is very nice.

To learn more about Monaco and its business opportunities, visit
To find out more about the projects of the Monaco-Asia Society, go to

Francesco is a valued member of our SENATUS community.


David Beckham for Haig Club


David Gandy for Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue

All Rights Reserved. SENATUS © 2024

SENATUS is a registered trademark of SENATUS PTE LTD. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or used otherwise, except as expressly permitted in writing by SENATUS.