Three British companies, Arup, Sondrel and Haskoll, have been revealed as the winners of the prestigious 2014 Cathay Pacific China Business Awards, which took place at London’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel on Friday, 16 May 2014.
With trade opportunities between the West and China continuing to flourish, Cathay Pacific’s ninth annual China Business Awards, held for the first time in association with HSBC, recognises and rewards British business trading with the region.
A panel of judges made up of senior representatives from Cathay Pacific, The China Britain Business Council, HSBC and The Daily Telegraph reviewed numerous entries before choosing the three winning companies from a range of sectors including manufacturing, construction, education, professional services, energy and technology.
The achievements of the winning organisations were recognised at the awards ceremony by Cathay Pacific’s General Manager Europe, Angus Barclay and HSBC’s Global Head of Trade & Receivables Finance James Emmett, in front of a room of dignitaries and business people from the UK, China and Hong Kong; including Minister Zhou Xiaoming, Minister Counsellor economic & commercial of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China and Lord Wei of Shoreditch.
The Continued Commitment Award, which recognises ongoing sustainable and ethical investment in China and/or Hong Kong, was awarded to London-based Haskoll. Founded in 1974, Haskoll is an international experience design-led architectural practice. Working in China since 2004, with rapid expansion in the past five years from Beijing to Shanghai, Haskoll now has a team of more than 50 staff in China covering architectural design, interior design, master planning and general consultancy. Haskoll has now grown to be the largest European architectural design company in Beijing. With projects in 42 cities across China, Haskoll has been involved in more than 80 projects in mixed use, tourism and leisure, shopping centres, residential and public buildings. Their strong entrepreneurial flair, broad market penetration and diverse approach into niche areas are all key factors contributing to their success in China.
Celebrating dynamic and innovative businesses which have opened operations in China within the last five years and demonstrated entrepreneurial flair, the Rising Star Award went to Berkshire-based Sondrel, which provides specialist engineering services to the semiconductor industry. Sondrel opened its first Wholly Owned Foreign Enterprise in Xian in 2008 followed shortly after by a larger site in Shanghai in 2010 and an office in Shenzhen. Today nearly 60% of their staff are located in China and include engineering and support teams. Sondrel has achieved strong yearly growth in the past five years, not only expanding the number of staff in China, but also increasing staff in the UK in order to support their growth in China. Instead of using Shanghai and Beijing as their base, they anchor their business in Xian. They have also demonstrated their commitment to China by partnering with Nottingham University at Ningbo to nurture Chinese engineering talent through the creation of a Centre of Excellence.
Recognising initiatives from any company or not-for-profit organisation that has benefited China in a socially responsible manner, the Social Responsibility Award was made to Arup, a global firm of designers, planners, engineers, consultants and technical specialists providing a range of professional services. With a presence in Greater China spanning 40 years, Arup has 800 employees in mainland China and 2,300 in Hong Kong. Today, Arup has projects spread over 50 cities in China. Arup approaches projects through a sustainable and ethical business model which included the creation of their own sustainability Policy in 2007. Considerable resources and commitment have also been given to contribute to local society through various initiatives such as "Arup Cause" and through numerous charitable organisations in Hong Kong and China. This includes the award-winning Arup x Wu Zhi Qiao Bridge in Mixia, Yunnan province, which is part of the firm’s on-going collaboration with Wu Zhi Qiao Charitable Foundation to deliver footbridges in remote China.
Angus Barclay, General Manager Europe, Cathay Pacific, said: "It is a privilege to recognise and congratulate the hard work and commitment of British companies making a real impact in China. These awards, which this year are made in association with HSBC, have been designed to applaud and reward commitment, innovation and social responsibility."
"The judges were hugely impressed with the quality of entries, and we hope that the Cathay Pacific China Business Awards scheme will inspire other businesses in the UK and the Republic of Ireland to follow in these companies’ footsteps. As Hong Kong’s leading airline, we have a strong affinity with business travellers, taking pride in flying business men and women between the UK and Hong Kong, and on into China. We are delighted to promote, encourage and applaud strong business links between the two. We are also delighted to be introducing in December a four-times-weekly flight between Manchester and Hong Kong, enabling businesses in the North West to forge even stronger links with China."
"For nearly 150 years, HSBC has been connecting the UK with Hong Kong and China and helping businesses take advantage of trade and investment opportunities on both sides of the world. As a sponsor and judge of the Cathay Pacific China Business Awards, we are proud to be helping UK organisations to grow and achieve their ambitions in Hong Kong and China. HSBC has been very impressed by the variety and quality of entries, and congratulate all winners and those shortlisted," added Mark Emmerson, Head of Global Trade and Receivable Finance, UK, one of the judges of the Cathay Pacific China Business Awards.
The awards are overseen by an advisory panel which includes Erica Ng, Director General of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (HKETO), Lord Sassoon, Chairman of the China Britain Business Council (CBBC), Baroness Dunn, Chairman of The Hong Kong Association, Douglas Flint, Group Chairman of HSBC, The Right Honourable Lord Wei of Shoreditch, Ivan Chu, Chief Executive of Cathay Pacific and Crispin Simon, Acting Chief Executive of UK Trade & Investment (UKTI).
Pictured left to right:
Cathay Pacific cabin crew flank Angus Barclay, General Manager Europe for Cathay Pacific, The Right Honourable Lord Wei of Shoreditch, Graham Curren, CEO of Sondrel (winners of the Rising Star Award), Peter Goldsmith, Chairman of Haskoll China (winners of the Continued Commitment Award), Peter Budd, Global Aviation Business Leader for Arup (winners of the Social Responsibility Award), Stephen Phillips, Chief Executive of the China Britain-Business Council, and Mark Emmerson, Head of Global Trade and Receivable Finance at HSBC.