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Media releases

Westpac celebrates Australian companies leading the way in China


7 June 2013 


Last night, the 2013 winners of one of Australia’s most prestigious awards, the Australia - China Business Awards, were announced at a Gala Awards Ceremony held at the Grand Hyatt Beijing. The awards are celebrated in recognition of Australia’s most innovative and enterprising companies who have successfully contributed to the China - Australia business relationship.

The awards were sponsored by the Australian Chambers of Commerce in Greater China and Westpac Banking Corporation, Australia’s First Bank.

The Gala Ceremony, the pinnacle of the Australia - China Business Awards, recognised outstanding Australian businesses in the presence of such special guests as the Australian Ambassador to China HE Ms Frances Adamson, and Westpac Group Chief Executive Officer, Mrs Gail Kelly, who gave the night’s key note address.

Mrs Kelly, who had been in China for the week spoke about the strength of the Australia-China relationship being at an all-time high. 

“As Australian business leaders, we have a remarkable connection with Asia, and opportunity to be part of the Asian century,” Mrs Kelly said. 

The Australia-China relationship is not only a focus among the corporate sector but a focus at Government level. This was demonstrated, she said by the Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s recent visit to China, where a number of key initiatives were announced, including direct convertibility to the CNY for the Australian dollar. During this visit, Westpac was awarded a market maker licence for direct A$/CNY currency trading, which will continue to help the ease and efficiency of trade between Australia and China. 

Mrs Kelly specifically referred to Westpac’s trade capability as a key part of Westpac’s strategy to support customers as they build their relationship and presence in China.

“At the heart of our strategy is the depth of our relationships with customers and that we want to be part of their journey in Asia,” Mrs Kelly said.

This year’s winners spanned a diverse range of industries, with steel and engineering leader BlueScope Steel recognised for business excellence in the Large Enterprises category, bulk material handling specialists Mitchells Equipment in the Small & Medium Enterprises category, and Pinpoint in the Start Up category for its innovative customer loyalty programs.

Family business Eco & More, a producer of chemical-free, biodegradable personal care products was a winner in the sustainable development category, with Fortescue Metals taking the award for greatest impact on the Australia - China bilateral relationship.

“The Australia - China Business Awards have come a long way in their 20 year history, and showcase those companies contributing to the vibrant, robust commercial relationship between Australia and China, “said AustCham Beijing Chairman David Olsson. “The united Australian Chambers of Commerce across the Greater China region are proud to support iconic Australian businesses to the entrepreneurial enterprises which are breaking new ground in China.”  

Westpac has been the official key sponsor of the awards since 2009. “We are immensely proud to be supporting these awards, which recognise Australian companies leading the way in China”, said Andrew Whitford, Westpac Head of Greater China. “The awards absolutely align with our strategy in Asia, which is supporting the growing number of Australian companies that are looking to do more business in Asia”.

The Australia - China Business Awards, or ACBAs, were first established in 1993 to recognise the diverse Australian business interests entering Greater China. Having since grown in breadth and scope, the awards recognise the projects and partnerships at the forefront of the Australia - China commercial relationship. The awards rotate yearly through each of the cities in the Greater China network and now move to Shanghai in 2014. 

2013 ACBA Winners

The Westpac Business Excellence Award for Large Enterprises

BlueScope Buildings Asia

The Austrade Business Excellence Award for Small and Medium Enterprises

Mitchells Equipment (Hebei) Co., Ltd

The AustCham Greater China Business Excellence Award for Start Up Enterprises

Pinpoint China

The Green Resources Capital Business Excellence Award for Sustainable Development

The Cheung Kong Infrastructure Award for Greatest Impact on the Australia-China Bilateral Relationship

Fortescue Metals Group Ltd

The Westpac Special Recognition Award

Argyle Hotels


About AustCham Greater China

The Australian Chamber of Commerce in Greater China, (‘AustCham Greater China or AGC’) is the national peak body for the representation of Australian businesses in Greater China.

AustCham Greater China provides a united platform that enables strong engagement and effective advocacy with both the Australian and Chinese Governments and other stakeholders.

Current offices are located in the major centres of Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Guangzhou and Chengdu. AustCham Greater China presents a strong and unified voice for the Australian business community within the Greater China region and provides a platform for other Australian business communities to join AustCham Greater China.

AustCham Greater China represents over 1,800 Australian member companies. Membership ranges from start-up companies to significant support from Australia’s largest and most recognisable companies including QANTAS, Rio Tinto, BHP, NAB, Westpac, CBA, ANZ, to name but a few.

About Westpac

Westpac Banking Corporation (Westpac) was founded in 1817 and was the first bank established in Australia. Today, the Westpac Group has branches and controlled entities throughout Australia, New Zealand and the near Pacific region and maintains offices in key financial centres around the world. Westpac Group employs approximately 35,000 people and has three key customer facing divisions through which we serve around 12 million customers.

Westpac has been operating in Asia for 40 years and was the first Australian bank to open an office in China in 1982. In Asia, Westpac delivers a broad range of financial services to individuals through its Private Bank in Asia; and corporate and institutional customers with branches in Singapore, Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, Mumbai and a representative office in Jakarta.

Westpac is globally recognised as the number 1 institutional bank in Australia.