NDB Partners SLMBC to host Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards 2014 in Sri Lanka

For 3rd successive year

Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards is a regional recognition program for outstanding entrepreneurs across Asia. It is also a platform for Asian business leaders and entrepreneurs to network, share information and form lifetime acquaintances and alliances. There are 12 ASEAN nations in this program. They are Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Brunei, Thailand, Vietnam, Macau, Cambodia and from South Asia, India. Sri Lanka was invited to join this elite group in 2012.

Enterprise Asia a non-governmental organization for entrepreneurship, based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, is the owner and organizer of this prestigious Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards (APEA) since 1997. www.enterpriseasia.org "Enterprise Asia, in Association with Sri Lanka Malaysia Business Council (SLMBC) of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce took the challenge of organizing this event in Sri Lanka from 2012 onwards and has held two events in 2012 and 2013, with great success.

Entrepreneurs from large Companies to the smaller Companies have participated in respective categories and been recognized with the Award, for their performance, integrity and productivity" said Ms. Nilrukshi De Silva, President of SLMBC.

The event was introduced to Sri Lanka by Ananda Rajapakse, Country Director for Enterprise Asia, in Sri Lanka. "This Awards Program is unique. As, Asia Pacific’s most prestigious award for entrepreneurs, it is a regional bench-mark. It honors enterprising men and women from each country who have proven their enterprising spirit, whilst not neglecting the social responsibilities that are associated with business leadership" said Mr. Kevin Vong, Executive Director of Enterprise Asia. An International Panel of Judges will select the winners based on a regional company evaluation bench mark and short list on a computer generated marking scheme and company visits by a Technical Team from Enterprise Asia in Malaysia.

"Sri Lanka’s event is open only to Sri Lankan Entrepreneurs, Sri Lankan Public companies; Sri Lanka based Foreign Direct Investment companies, Government Corporations, and Private Enterprises. The Awards on offer are; APEA Entrepreneur of the Year Award, APEA Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award, APEA Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, APEA Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year Award, APEA Outstanding Entrepreneurship Award, APEA Most Promising Entrepreneurship Award and APEA Life Time Achievement Award" he said.

"Post-conflict economic resurgence in the country has channeled much focus on SME growth. Providing financial support and advisory services for the development of SMEs and entrepreneurship has now become a common agenda and a priority for financial institutions. In such a backdrop, NDB’s pioneering effort towards partnering this prestigious regional award scheme stands out as a progressive step towards not only recognizing entrepreneurs but also facilitating international exposure for such entrepreneurs which is a national imperative. Globalisation has brought a shift to the economic environment of the local entrepreneurs and SMEs. The progressively disappearing barriers and borders are exposing all companies both to new markets and to international competition."

"Therefore, having foreseen this importance of showcasing successful local entrepreneurship to a global platform, NDB pioneered the APEA scheme in 2011 and has since remained committed towards the success of the programme as its principal sponsor. We believe that receiving international acknowledgement for their enterprising excellence at an event of this nature; will open up regional market expansion opportunities for the local entrepreneurs. Hence as a bank committed towards national development, we earnestly encourage our aspiring entrepreneurs to take advantage of this opportunity to be a part of a prestigious regional recognition programme" said Rajendra Theagarajah, CEO of NDB.

Entry Coupons will be carried in the newspapers from 8th November 2013 and will close on 10th December 2013. Completed Entry coupons are to be sent to Sri Lanka Malaysia Business Council, C/o Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, No 50, Nawam Mawatha, Colombo 2. Shortlisted companies will be sent the Nomination Kit. For more details email shenoza@chamber.lk or ishani@chamber.lk or call-11-5588882 or 5588852.

The purpose of this Award Program is to cultivate a culture of honest, fair and responsible entrepreneurship across Asia. With honest, fair and responsible entrepreneurial spirit ingrained within a country’s culture, numerous social and economic issues such as, urban poverty, urban–rural income disparity, inter-racial and inter-cultural conflicts, undergraduate frustrations, labor exploitation, labor tension and economic slavery can be diminished and eradicated. This is in keeping with H.E the President, Mahinda Rajapaksa’s, Mahinda Chinthanaya for economic development.

Today, more than ever before, Sri Lanka as a Nation and its entrepreneurs as a community need International recognition and good publicity to be in close interaction with Asia’s entrepreneurs and business leaders who are the top investors that influence economic development in the region. We believe The Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards will be a great platform for this purpose.

Asia Pacific’s Most Prestigious Awards for Sri Lankan Entrepreneurs will be held on Sunday 23rd February 2014 at Cinnamon Grand Colombo. This will be attended by leading entrepreneurs from Sri Lanka and participation from the ASEAN Region too being invited. In 2012 APEA Entrepreneur of the Year in Sri Lanka was W K H Wegapitiya, Chairman of Laugfs Holdings Limited and Ishara Nanayakkara, MD of LOLC was the APEA Young Entrepreneur of the Year. In 2013 Gratien Gunawardhana, Chairman/Managing Director of Hands International (Pvt) Ltd., was awarded APEA Entrepreneur of the year in Sri Lanka and Dulith Herath Managing Director of Kapruka.com was the APEA Young Entrepreneur of the Year. A full list of Sri Lankan and other Asian APEA winners are available on www.apea.asia

As in the past two years, in 2014 also the award ceremony will be a glittering event, attended by over 450 business persons to be held at the Cinnamon Grand Colombo.

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