Do you know who should be business person of the year?
Hong Kong's prosperous economy, the addition of new categories and a more stringent selection methodology should make this year's prestigious DHL/SCMP Hong Kong Business Awards one of the best.
This is the general consensus among organisers and judges who met for the first time yesterday to launch the event which now enters its 18th season.
Also set to make this year's event a standout is the decision to expand the reach of the awards to cover the Pearl River Delta, a reflection of the fact that many potential nominees have business operations in the mainland.
'This year we are looking more aggressively to consider, given that the Hong Kong economy is more and more integrated with the whole region, that many of our businesses are really trans-national and we are looking at entrepreneurs not only in Hong Kong, but beyond Hong Kong,' said Professor Richard Wong Yue-chim, chair of the judging panel and a deputy vice-chancellor and professor of economics at the University of Hong Kong.
'We have always taken them into consideration to some extent, but this year this will be a feature. We have reached a stage where like many of our other activities in business, it's really beyond the borders ... look at our stock exchange. Most new IPOs are companies not in Hong Kong.
'This has been a great year for Hong Kong, there is no reason why we would not be able to identify some truly outstanding individuals and companies.'
To help narrow down the field of entries, CPA Australia has for the first time this year been introduced as a special advisor. A group of CPA Australia members will provide third-party objectivity in the vetting and judging of entries.
Thomas Wong, CPA Australia president, Hong Kong China Division, said judges would be divided to focus on one or two categories, and the selection criteria made more transparent and objective.
South China Morning Post Editor C.K. Lau said the award was part of the paper's on-going efforts to go beyond the printed page and digital screen to engage with our community.
There are eight categories this year: Business Person of the Year Award, Executive Award, Owner-Operator Award, Young Entrepreneur Award, International Award, Enterprise Award, SME Award and the International Investor of the Year Award.
The last two are new categories this year: the SME Award aims to better reflect the importance of small and medium-sized businesses in the local economy, while Invest Hong Kong has joined as a sponsor of the International Investor of the Year award to recognise overseas or mainland-based companies that have established a substantial new business operation in Hong Kong during the past 12 months.
'The award will be given to a company which made a significant investment into Hong Kong in terms of job creation, capital, research and development, and in attracting additional investment,' said Mike Rowse, director-general of Investment Promotion at Invest Hong Kong.
As a major sponsor of the event, Connie Tang, general manager of DHL Express Hong Kong, said she was excited about this year's awards, which had become a signature event.
'The economy has been very prosperous in the first half so I'm pretty sure that we'll have a strong number of candidates,' she said.
The presentation dinner will be held on December 6.
The panel, the prizes
This year's judges:
Front row (from left): Connie Tang, general manager, DHL Express (Hong Kong); David Li Kwok-po, chairman and chief executive, Bank of East Asia; Richard Wong Yue-chim, deputy vice-chancellor, University of Hong Kong; Chow Chung-kong, chief executive, MTR Corp; C.K. Lau, editor, South China Morning Post.
Back row (from left): Clement Woo, national president, Junior Chamber International Hong Kong; Alex Fong, chief executive, Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce; Albert Wong, president, Eastern Worldwide; Anthony Lau, executive chairman, Baltrans Holdings; Y.Y. Hung, chairman and managing director, Regina Miracle International; Thomas Wong, president, CPA Australia; Margaret Leung, general manager, global co-head of commercial banking, HSBC
This year's categories:
Business Person of the Year Award
Young Entrepreneur Award
International Investor of the Year Award