Business China Awards 2016 – Celebrating the flag-bearers of Singapore-China bilateral ties
After months of grueling judging by the panel, recipients of the Business China Awards 2016 were announced on 22 November, during the award presentation ceremony at Shangri-La Hotel Singapore.
Singapore Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Mr Teo Chee Hean graced the event as Guest-of-Honour and presented the awards to the recipients.
Receiving the Business China Awards 2016 were Professor Wang Gungwu, Bank of China and Ms Jenny Lee. They were respective recipients of the Excellence Award, Young Achiever Award and Enterprise Award.
Professor Wang Gungwu is an eminent historian of China and Southeast Asia, known for his pioneering studies in the field of Overseas Chinese Studies. Prof Wang’s deep involvement in discussions about the Chinese identities and the rise of China, coupled with his many years of penning his research and insights into China in English, vastly promoted the understanding of China to Chinese-illiterate demographics.
Enterprise Awardee, Bank of China, has been operating in Singapore for 80 years to date, demonstrating its commitment and stakes in promoting bilateral economic and trade relations between China and Singapore. Bank of China plays a vital role in promoting economic interactions between the two nations as the largest Renminbi (RMB) integrated services provider in Singapore, as well as Singapore Exchange’s (SGX) biggest RMB currency futures market maker.
Ms Jenny Lee, who was conferred the Young Achiever Award 2016, is an established Singaporean investor in the Chinese tech scene, especially known for her angel investment in Chinese mobile phone upstart, Xiaomi, now worth more than US$45 billion (S$61 billion), as well as her role in setting up the Granite Global Ventures (GGV) Capital’s presence in China. Ms Lee was also one of two Singaporean women to be named in Forbes' annual list of the 100 most powerful women this year.
DPM Teo noted in his address that Singapore-China ties “have always been forward-looking, innovative and mutually beneficial on many fronts”, and elaborated upon the multi-faceted nature of Sino-Singapore relations, bringing up the recent milestones between the two nations, such as the All-Round Cooperative Partnership Progressing with the Times, China-Singapore Free Trade Agreement and the Chongqing Connectivity Initiative.
He then went on to highlight that there are existing opportunities for bilateral relations to be strengthened and made references to three growth areas, namely in the areas of business partnerships and financial cooperation, as well as new digital economy.
In his speech, Chairman of Business China, Mr Lee Yi Shyan, noted that the world’s economy is at a revolutionary point, with the recent developments in global affairs, notably events such as the Brexit and the outcome of US elections, and highlighted that the economic and trade cooperation between Singapore and China will have to navigate these shifting global settings to seek new breakthroughs and create mutually-beneficial prospects.
“Business China hopes to nurture individuals and corporations with the ability to bridge the Sino-Singapore divide, which are able to contribute to the sustained progress of both economies”, said Mr Lee.
Since the conception of the Awards, Business China has entered into its seventh year of co-presentation with the OCBC Bank. To date, the Business China Awards have been awarded to 21 individuals and corporations that have made outstanding contributions to Sino-Singapore relations. Business China hopes that the Awards will set a standard, and inspire more to develop a Singaporean standpoint in their approach of China and not merely embrace bilingualism, but importantly also be well-versed in biculturalism.