Source: Vientiane Times
The 12th Asean Business Awards (ABA) Gala Dinner took place on the night of November 12 last week, shining a spotlight on some of the many successful enterprises from a variety of industry sectors from across the region.
Distinguished entrepreneurs, businessmen and women as well as high-ranking government representatives jointly celebrated the spirit of fair competition and extraordinary entrepreneurial ability at the dinner, which was held at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Singapore.
The Lao delegation to the event was led by Asean Business Advisory Council Member of Laos and Vice President of the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr Thanongsinh Kanlagna.
Support for the Lao delegation’s attendance was received from the Regional Economic Integration of Laos into Asean, Trade and Entrepreneurship Development (RELATED) project of the Lao-German Development Cooperation.
Launched in April 2007 by the Asean Business Advisory Council (Asean BAC) to mark the 40th anniversary of Asean, the Asean Business Awards seek to give recognition to the most outstanding Asean companies that have made a significant contribution to Asean’s economic growth and prosperity.
The event draws attention to promising small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that have the potential of becoming regional, if not global economic players.
The ABA Awards also provide an opportunity for businesses to garner greater exposure and to expand their network within the Asean business community.
Asean businesses competed in the following main categories: Asean Priority Integration Sectors (PIS), SME Excellence (Corporate Social Responsibility, Employment, Growth, and Innovation), Young Entrepreneur, Women Entrepreneur, Sustainable Social Enterprise and Friends of Asean.
This year a new category, the Asean Family Business Award, was launched. This is in acknowledgement of the indispensable role that family businesses play in the regional economy and the example they set other businesses in customer service and business management models.
The 2018 ABA Gala Night was a major triumph for many Lao businesses. Six Lao enterprises were awarded 10 Asean Business Awards in six respective categories.
These included Inthira Hotels & Restaurants (Priority Integration Sector – Tourism), Sinouk Coffee Co. Ltd (Family Business, SME Excellence – Corporate Social Responsibility), Saythirath Group Co., Ltd (Young Entrepreneur, SME Excellence – Growth), Panyathip International School (Women Entrepreneur, SME Excellence – Employment) and 108–1009 Group Co., Ltd (SME Excellence – Innovation, Asean Winner – SME Excellence Innovation), and PanAust Limited (Friend of Asean).
The Lao winners celebrated by happily posing for pictures with key dignitaries and enjoying the night’s cultural programme which was an integral part of the ABA celebrations.
The Founder and Managing Director of 108-1009 Group Co., Ltd, Mr Keovisouk Dalasane, said “I have attended many award events in the past few years but none like ABA. I am so humble to be selected the overall Asean winner in the category ‘SME Excellence – Innovation’. This really is a huge piece of encouragement for our team moving forward. The opportunity to network and meet up with top entrepreneurs and companies in the Asean region is invaluable.”
Mr Thanongsinh Kanlagna expressed confidence that the Lao ABA winners will all continue to thrive in their respective industries to the future. He said the reputations of all will grow as a result of the ABA awards and that the networking and accessing of new technologies and investments that the ABA provides will be invaluable.
The Awards Gala Dinner was graced by the President of the Republic of Singapore, Mdm HalimahYacob and Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dr Mahathir Bin Mohamad, who were the evening’s Guests of Honour.
In her welcoming remarks, H.E. Halimah Yacob lauded the enormous progress and the exceptional achievements of the Asean region in transforming the region into a competitive and innovative economic community.
She noted that Asean needs to harness the energy and capacity of its private sector in particular, including women, youth and social entrepreneurs, if progress is to continue.
Chairman of the Asean-BAC 2018, Dr Robert Yap, added “As the biggest business awards exclusively for the Asean region, being recognised will provide valuable exposure to all the businesses involved. Many of the most successful businesses in Asean today are past ABA winners.”