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Addressing the Critical Issues Facing Asia - 60 Years
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Asia Foundation and Renowned Philanthropist Mr. Chong-Moon Lee Honored by California-Asia Business Council

Asia Foundation president, David D. Arnold, in a conversation with Jon Erlichman, Bloomberg TV correspondent on Asia's economic growth. At Cal-Asia's Asia Night Gala 2012. Photo: Whitney Legge

San Francisco, October 17, 2012 — The Bay Area’s business and diplomatic communities honored The Asia Foundation and Mr. Chong Moon Lee at the California-Asia Business Council’s 18th annual Asia Night Gala in San Francisco on October 16.  Mr. Chong-Moon Lee, Chairman and CEO of AmBex Venture Group and David D. Arnold, President of The Asia Foundation, received the 2012 New Silk Road Award for their commitment to developing Asia’s economies.

“Mr. Chong-Moon Lee and The Asia Foundation are being recognized for their tireless commitment to championing Asia’s business, innovation, and educational progress,” said Jeremy Potash, Executive Director of Cal-Asia. “Their impressive accomplishments and impact across Asia are nothing less than extraordinary, and we are delighted to honor them with the 2012 New Silk Road Award.”

The honor is given to Mr. Lee, a renowned entrepreneur, philanthropist, and a true pioneer in fostering California-Asia business. Mr. Lee’s extraordinary generosity has enabled the expansion of the physical presence and service of the Asian Art Museum and many other charitable organizations. Mr. Lee is also a trustee emeritus of The Asia Foundation and recently funded an innovative project to combat human trafficking in Cambodia and Laos, whose populations of women and youth are increasingly at risk for trafficking and exploitation.

Cal-Asia also presented a New Silk Road Award to The Asia Foundation, a San Francisco-based nonprofit. Founded in 1954 and with offices in 17 Asian countries, The Asia Foundation is the premier nongovernment development organization working to build capacity, strengthen institutions, and improve lives across a diverse, dynamic, and developing Asia.

The Asia Foundation has been influential in many aspects of the region’s economic transformation throughout its 60 years of experience in working on the ground in Asia. Examples of its economic impact across the region are its women empowerment and economic programs as well as the Economic Governance Index (EGI) initiative.  The EGI provides a handy, authoritative measure of the “business-friendliness” of provincial governments in different Asian countries. Widely used and respected in the region, these EGI surveys are conducted by the Foundation in Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and, most recently, Malaysia.

“On behalf of my colleagues, we are honored to receive this award from an organization that shares our commitment to Asia, and to positive U.S.-Asia relations” said David D. Arnold, President of The Asia Foundation. “Since our founding six decades ago in San Francisco, our impact and programs have been defined by a vision for open and inclusive economic growth for all, including women and marginalized communities. This is critical and necessary for creating opportunities not only within countries, but also across the dynamic Asia-Pacific region.”

The New Silk Road Award program, now in its 10th year, honors distinguished business and government leaders who have outstanding contributions to California and Asia. Previous winners of the award are Hon. Dianne Feinstein, US Senator; Dr. Ta-Lin Hsu founder and chairman of H&Q Asia Pacific; Hon. George P. Shultz, Former Secretary of State; Washington SyCip, Founder of SGV & Co. and “Asia’s Wise Business Owl”; and Amb. Linda Tsao Yang, former U.S. Director of Asian Development Bank and Asia Foundation trustee.

Asia Night benefits the award-winning programs of non-profit Cal-Asia to support and catalyze U.S.-Asia businesses expand their commercial activities in Asian markets. Details about the Silk Road Award are available here.

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