Argyle Hotels, BlueScope Steel and Fortescue Metals Group are among the winners of this year’s Westpac Australia China Business Awards, announced recently at a gala event in Beijing.
Established in 1993 to showcase the achievements and success of Australian businesses operating in China, the Australia China Business Awards have become one of the signature events of the Australia-China calendar.
Westpac Group Chief Executive Officer, Ms Gail Kelly, gave the night’s keynote address – highlighting the dynamism of Australian business in China and the strength of the Australia-China relationship being at an all-time high.
“As Australian business leaders, we have a remarkable connection with Asia, and opportunity to be part of the Asian century,” Ms Kelly said.
Ms Kelly touched on a number of key advancements in the relationship, including the announcement in April for the direct convertibility between the CNY and the Australian dollar.
Westpac is one of two Australian banks to be awarded a market maker licence for direct currency trading of the Australian dollar and the Renminbi.
A key aspect of Ms Kelly speech was the bank’s strategy to support customers as they build their relationship and presence in China.
“At the heart of our strategy is the depth of our relationships with customers and that we want to be part of their journey in Asia,” Ms Kelly said.
This year’s winners included steel and engineering leader BlueScope Steel, bulk material handling specialists Mitchells Equipment, loyalty and rewards marketing company Pinpoint, sustainable personal care products producer Eco & More and iron ore producer Fortescue Metals Group.
“The Australia – China Business Awards have come a long way in their 20 year history, and showcase those companies contributing to the vibrant, robust commercial relationship between Australia and China, “said AustCham Beijing Chairman David Olsson. “The united Australian Chambers of Commerce across the Greater China region are proud to support iconic Australian businesses to the entrepreneurial enterprises which are breaking new ground in China.”
Westpac has been the official key sponsor of the awards since 2009.
“We are immensely proud to be supporting these awards, which recognise Australian companies leading the way in China”, said Andrew Whitford, Westpac Head of Greater China. “The awards absolutely align with our strategy in Asia, which is supporting the growing number of Australian companies that are looking to do more business in Asia”.
The Australia – China Business Awards, or ACBAs, were first established in 1993 to recognise the diverse Australian business interests entering Greater China. Having since grown in breadth and scope, the awards recognise the projects and partnerships at the forefront of the Australia – China commercial relationship.
The 2014 Australia China Business Awards will be held in Shanghai. ■
2013 ACBA Winners
The Westpac Business Excellence Award for Large Enterprises
The Austrade Business Excellence Award for Small and Medium Enterprises
The AustCham Greater China Business Excellence Award for Start Up Enterprises
The Green Resources Capital Business Excellence Award for Sustainable Development
The Cheung Kong Infrastructure Award for Greatest Impact on the Australia-China Bilateral Relationship
The Westpac Special Recognition Award
*Pictured top left: Mr Kevin Zhang, CEO Argyle Hotels with Ms Gail Kelly, Westpac Group CEO at the Westpac ACBA:2013 held in Beijing on June 6.