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The ASEAN Business Advisory Council just concluded the search for the ASEAN Business Awards. On September, we will be announcing the latest batch of winners for ABA 2017.
The ASEAN Business Awards was created by the ASEAN Business Advisory Council in 2007 to give recognition to the enterprises which have contributed to the growth and prosperity of the ASEAN economy. Aside from re-cognizing the ASEAN enterprises, ABA also serves as a platform to spread information concerning the ASEAN Economic Community.
This year, as Philippines hosts the 50th year of ASEAN and the 10th year of ABA, we are putting the spotlight on small and medium enterprises who have become great business players not only in their country, but across the region as well.
Since 2007, ABA has recognized more than 100 companies under these categories: growth, employment, innovation and corporate social responsibility. It has also recognized enterprises under the priority integration sectors which includes electronics, e-ASEAN, healthcare, wood-based products, automotives, rubber, textiles, agri-food, fisheries, retail, logistics and tourism.
A special award called Friend of ASEAN will also be given to enterprises which have created massive social and economic impact in the ASEAN community. ABA 2017 will also recognize outstanding women and young entrepreneur. With our mission to promote inclusive growth across the region, we also added the category of inclusive business which will showcase business models which tap low-lying communities as part of the value chain.
There are enterprises and entrepreneurs who have stood the test of time, surpassed challenges and inspired others through their success who are worthy to be identified as legacies in the ASEAN region.
We received a great number of applications. We even had to extend the deadline twice! Soon, our board of judges (with representatives from all ASEAN member countries) will come to deliberate on the winners per category.
The Philippines has won several awards from ABA. Some of the winners include Henry Lim Bon Liong (SL Agritech), Anya Lim (Anthill), Sherill Quintana (Oryspa), JD Abenaza (Zeenoh), Teresa Laurel (Goto King), Alfredo Yao (Zesto), Crispin Muyrong (Sunlight Foods), Junie Del Mundo (EON), Maria Coronel (Pointwest Technologies), Sandy Montano (CHEERS), Paulo Tibig (VCargo), Ferdinand Ferrer (EMS Components), Philip Young (Global Foods Solutions) and Marlon Rono (Magsaysay Maritime).
Tony Fernandes, the man behind the successful airline Air Asia, was also an awardee of ABA. He was awarded in 2015 under the ASEAN Priority Integration Sector Award. Last 2015, I met him during the APEC SME Summit where he was a speaker. Behind a successful man is an inspiring story of turning a childhood dream into a reality.
From an existing but dying airline, he reformatted Air Asia with the mission of providing accessible and affordable flights to passengers. A hands-on leader that he is, he has worked on the ground and in the cabin.
Today, Air Asia has grown from a Malaysian domestic airline to a low-cost carrier in Asia. Under his leadership, Air Asia has been awarded several times for being the world’s best low-cost airline company.
Air Asia has indeed changed and contributed to the tourism sector in the region by providing reliable connection among ASEAN countries.
Myanmar travel company, Adventure Myanmar Tours and Incentives also won an ASEAN Priority Integration Sector Award last year. Zar Ni Htwe, the company’s managing director who is well-versed in the tourism sector, received the award. Adventure Myanmar was recognized for its quality service in giving its clients a remarkable vacation in different hotels and resorts.
Singapore’s Health Management International (HMI) also won an award on healthcare last 2015. HMI is a private healthcare provider which owns hospitals. Aside from Singapore, HMI is present in Malaysia and Indonesia.
In 2008, Martha Tilaar, the chairwoman of Martha Tilaar Group, was recognized for her efforts in bringing traditional Indonesian beauty traditions to the modern age. The company is a producer of beauty products and services and has expanded its distribution worldwide.
These companies are just some of the noteworthy and remarkable enterprises across the ASEAN region. We look forward to the latest batch of winners. I personally watch out for the inclusive business awards who will be a great example for other companies to have inclusive business models in their business process. Aside from this, I am also excited to recognize the legacy awardee who is an inspiration to many.
Go Negosyo has recognized a lot of entrepreneurs in the past but this time, as chairman of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council, I am proud to lead the search for outstanding SMEs who have played their part in their respective economies and are on their way to become global players.
Watch out for the ABA 2017 winners this coming Sept. 6!
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PA Joey Concepcion with former US secretary of state Madeleine Albright
I had the privilege recently to join a small dinner group with former US secretary of state Madeleine Albright. The intimate dinner was hosted by US Ambassador Sung Kim and was attended by former ambassadors Bobby Romulo, Joey Cuisia, and newly appointed Amb. Jose “Babe” Romualdez. Madam Albright was the first woman secretary of state during the Clinton administration in 1997.
During my short encounter with her, Madam Albright who is known as strong-willed and outspoken, was accommodating and full of wisdom. Since she left her position in 2001, she has written several best-selling books and has launched a private investment fund called Albright Capital Management which is an investment firm focusing on emerging markets.
I told her that even at her age, which is 80, she is still an amazing woman. She even signed a photograph of her for my wife who is a big fan of hers.
She is just one of the empowered women I have met for the past years. There are a lot of women who are worthy to be honored and recognized for their selfless contribution in their respective organizations and country. It was indeed an honor to meet her.