Tony Fernandes, Group CEO of AirAsia, named Asian Business Leader 2017

Tony Fernandes, Group CEO of AirAsia, named Asian Business Leader 2017


By Luke Foddy

Tony Fernandes, the founder and Group CEO of AirAsia, is to be honoured with the Asia House Asian Business Leaders Award 2017, we can announce today.

Mr Fernandes, known to millions as the face of the ‘Apprentice Asia’ TV show, is to receive the prestigious Award at a special gala dinner in Hong Kong on 27 November for his work as an ASEAN champion.

The Asian Business Leaders Award, issued annually by Asia House, the Centre of Expertise on Asia, aims to highlight members of the business community who have driven positive economic and social change in the region.

Previous winners include Hiroaki Nakanishi, Chairman, Hitachi; Nazir Razak, Chairman, CIMB; and Ho Ching, CEO, Temasek Holdings.

Under Mr Fernandes’s leadership, AirAsia has grown to become the region’s leading low-cost airline, transforming the Asian aviation industry and making it possible for millions of people to access air travel. He has also championed greater integration and cooperation within ASEAN.

Lord Green, Chairman of Asia House, said: “As a leading Centre of Expertise on Asian business and trade, it is important for Asia House to recognise those people making a positive contribution to the Asian economic landscape.

“Alongside his business achievements, Tony has been a tireless advocate of ASEAN – an ethos which we share at Asia House. As ASEAN celebrates its 50th anniversary, we thought it was a particularly pertinent time to recognise Tony with this award.”

Speaking on the announcement, Mr Fernandes said: “It is an honour to be recognised for championing ASEAN. I am an ASEANist. I believe the future of Asia Pacific lies as much with ASEAN as it does with China or India – it’s hard to ignore 620 million people.

“However, the promise of ASEAN lies in its unity, in cooperation, tearing down barriers, integration. In that sense, we still have some way to go but I am confident we will get there, and I am very glad to see Asia House join us on that journey.”

Mr Fernandes will receive the prestigious award at the Asian Business Leaders Award Dinner – Asia House’s annual gala event – in Hong Kong on 27 November.

Nazir Razak, Chairman of CIMB, will be giving a gala address at the Dinner, taking place at the Asia Society Hong Kong Center.

Find out more about the Asian Business Leaders Award Dinner 2017.