PublicAffairsAsia names Gupta, McGregor and Widjaja for top comms award

PublicAffairsAsia has named three leading regional business figures as
the nominees for the 2012 Gold Standard Award for Communications.

The award, sponsored by HP, identifies communications excellence by a business, NGO, campaigning, political or media figure and this year the nominees are: Piyush Gupta, CEO, DBS Group; James L. McGregor, author, journalist and China expert; and, Franky Widjaja, Chairman of Golden Agri-Resources Ltd.

Gupta is Chief Executive Officer and Director of DBS Group, as well as Director of DBS’ subsidiary companies, The Islamic Bank of Asia Limited and DBS Bank (Hong Kong) Limited. Now over two years into his current role, the former Citi executive is credited with developing a professional and streamlined approach to stakeholder engagement and communications as he seeks to develop DBS into a regional banking powerhouse. Under his leadership the bank has posted strong results and has achieved considerable positive media coverage.

McGregor is an American author, journalist and businessman who has lived in China for more than 20 years. A professional speaker and CNBC contributor who specialises in China’s business, politics and society, he regularly appears in the media to discuss China-related topics. He is a Senior Counsellor for APCO Worldwide and a member of the firm’s international advisory council. This year he authored “No Ancient Wisdom, No Followers: The Challenges of Chinese Authoritarian Capitalism”. The book further cements his reputation both as a China expert and an effective communicator on China’s global role.

Golden Agri-Resources chief Widjaja has extensive management and operational experience and has been involved in pulp and paper related businesses since 1982. As Chairman of Golden Agri-Resources he has recently presided over a powerful stakeholder engagement initiative to put GAR in the lead position as a committed advocate of sustainable palm oil. In doing so he has led the industry and engaged with a wide range of governmental and non-governmental bodies – achieving widespread support and acclaim for GAR as a sustainable business.

The award has been developed from The Gold Standard Award for Political Communications, which was previously won by Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, President Aquino of the Philippines and Noriyuki Shikata, the official international spokesman of the Japanese Prime Minister’s office following the 3/11 tragedy. It is now extended to incorporate business and campaigning figures to highlight their communications achievements.

The award will be presented alongside The Gold Standard Awards at the annual reception to be held at The Foreign Correspondents’ Club in Hong Kong on Thursday December 6.

For more information on attending the awards ceremony contact or to read the full awards shortlist visit

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