ABA showcases Aseanís best
Siti Hajar

THE much anticipated Asean Business Awards (ABA) took place in the Abode of Peace last night, witnessed by dozens representing the region and its counterparts in an event that took place against a background of solidarity between governments and what has been considered as the backbone of the economies that come in the form of the private sector.

Since its launch in 2007 organised by the Asean Business Advisory Council, the ABA has recognised 60 companies throughout the region that have contributed to the growth and prosperity of the Asean economy. These companies are considered as the ĎMost Admired Asean Enterprisesí that have excelled in categories of growth, employment, innovation and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

This year, competing against almost 70 applications that were received from all 10 member states, two Bruneian companies were among 18 others that did their respective nations proud, and between these local enterprises, they garnered three awards in three out of four categories that were presented by His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, Bruneiís Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

In an event that took place at the International Convention Centre as part of the Joint Gala Dinner for the 45th Asean Economic Ministersí Meeting, Asean Business and Investment Summit 2013 and the Asean-China Youth Forum, BMC Food Industries Sdn Bhd achieved the Growth Category as well as the CSR category for SME awards alongside three other counterparts, which focuses on a companyís growth in revenue, profit, sustainability and solid business planning for its future. It also focuses on the companyís success in creating a CSR culture by integrating social and environmental practices as part of its responsibilities.

For the Employment Category, alongside two other Asean companies, Megamas Training Company Sdn Bhd walked away with recognition for their part in fulfilling key selection criterion that qualified them for the award, paying particular attention to good staff retention rate, protection of employee health and safety, professional and career development as well as benefits.

The ABA, with its strategic partner being KPMG Ltd, meanwhile, is the first of its kind in the region, and awareness as to its existence has since flourished with this year seeing participants from all nations for the very first time since it was introduced.

Nominees were short-listed to 30 considerations, which were then compartmentalised into large-size companies and SMEs. Following interviews, those that were selected were then brought to the attention of an independent judging panel comprising top business leaders, economists and academics from the region.

With the objective of showcasing home-grown Asean companies that have become excellent models of other aspiring companies, the ABA was also aimed at providing spotlight for upcoming Asean SMEs to help them grow into potential global players. - Borneo Bulletin (21 August 2013)