The Chancellor and Chair of the Fiji National University Council, Mr. Semesa Karavaki,
The Vice-Chancellor of Fiji National University, Professor Unaisi Nabobo-Baba.
Representatives of Government,
Your Excellencies, Members of the Diplomatic Corps,
Members of the 2024 Panel of Review of the FBEA,
The 2024 Panel of the FBEA Evaluators,
Industry leaders and visionary entrepreneurs,
Corporate Sponsors,
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen, and 
Members of the Media. 
Ni sa Bula Vinaka and a very pleasant evening to you all. 
Tonight marks a momentous occasion on the launch of the 25th Anniversary of the Fiji Business Excellence Awards and I am immensely honoured to share and experience this part of the journey with you all. 
This evening, you celebrate not only your tangible efforts within your respective organizations and the collective action towards innovation and service excellence, but you also celebrate 25 years of the prestigious Fiji Business Excellence Awards. I extend my sincere gratitude to the members of the Secretariat of the FBEA Committee for the invitation to deliver the keynote address at this important event.
The forward-looking vision to establish the Business Excellence Framework to encourage and embed the use of best practices across a myriad of organizations is commendable. The journey of the past 25 years has been extraordinary, and you all have demonstrated the benchmark of diverse and dynamic progress in your respective business processes. 
In the last 25-year, the FBEA has recognised the excellence of 137 local organizations, awarding them a total of 305 FBEA awards. Among these exceptional achievers, 74 were from the private sector and 63 organizations from the publicsector. This is itself is an achievement worth celebrating and deserves our collective acknowledgement.
I wish to recognise the dedicated pool of approximately 500 Fijian evaluators, who have been meticulously trained to ensure and uphold the FBEA’s integrity and that its purpose is met diligently.  

I equally acknowledge the individuals, who have dedicated their time and resources over the past 25 years, with a selected few contributing their expertise to ensure the sustainability of the programme. This unwavering commitment to excellence and continuous improvement is worthy of recognition.
The Fiji Business Excellence Framework plays a decisive role in driving the nation's economic prosperity. By encouraging businesses to adopt best practices that lead to increased productivity, quality, and innovation, the FBEA fosters a more competitive business environment. 
In turn, this attracts investments, creates jobs, and contributes to overall economic well-being. Additionally, the Framework's emphasis on employee engagement empowers a skilled and qualified workforce, further encouraging economic growth.
Tonight, we honor not just individual accomplishments, but the collective strength, resilience, and ingenuity of our very own business spirit. We pay tribute to those who have braved challenges, emerged stronger, and become more sustainable and attuned to the needs of our people and our nation.
The nation has witnessed the transformative power of innovation, the importance of ethical practices, and the significance of empowering our communities. We have seen the potential of sustainable development, the pivotal role of technology in bridging the digital gaps and the unyielding spirit of collaboration that unites us.
Your collective progress was marred in the year 2020 with the onset of the global coronavirus pandemic. All businesses across the board were forced to unprecedented restructures that ultimately affected productivity, economic sustainability, livelihoods, and maintaining a healthy workforce. Four years later, you have good cause to celebrate your individual and combined will-power that has sustained you to what you are today. 
While the impacts of pandemics like COVID-19 and the climate crisis weakens your resilience from a business perspective, it also strengthens and revolutionizes your thinking processes.

These global challenges encourages you to rectify gaps in work processes, develop innovative ideas, incorporate smart or green solutions, and empower people relations with the ultimate goal of increasing economic outputs, elevate socio-economic standards and improve service delivery to stakeholders. 
As the custodians of Fiji businesses, I implore you to embrace the challenges of tomorrow with the same fervor and dedication that has brought you to reach this milestone. I encourage you to champion sustainability, embrace innovation, prioritize people, forge partnerships, and champion Fijian-made products and services on the global stage. 
Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fiji Business Excellence Awards Framework benchmarks best practices from high performing organizations around the world, equipping applicants with a clear understanding of the key areas they need to excel in.  Organizations are evaluated based on their response to the various requirements of the Awards criteria, ensuring a rigorous and comprehensive assessment process.
I am pleased to note that the FBEA programme is open to a broad range of organizations in Fiji. The pinnacle of achievement, being the President's Business Excellence Award, has been awarded to 11 local organizations over the past 25 years. 
I acknowledge past winners of this award, household names such as Vodafone Fiji, Future Farms Limited trading as Rooster Poultry, Sheraton Fiji, DHL, the then Fiji Electricity Authority (now Energy Fiji Limited), Air Terminal Services, Jacks Retail Limited, the iTaukei Land Trust Board, the Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission, the Unit Trust of Fiji  and Fiji Ports Corporation Limited.
These remarkable organizations serve as shining examples for all Fijian businesses, inspiring them to strive for excellence and contribute to the nation's economic prosperity.
Before I conclude, I wish to acknowledge the invaluable contributions of the FBEA Panel of Review, the FBEA Secretariat and evaluators, ensuring the credibility and integrity of the Awards process. 
The next 25 years hold immense promise for Fijian businesses. With the FBEA Framework as a beacon, I encourage you to embrace lessons learned to become national and global leaders in sustainable, ethical, and impactful commerce. Let us embrace challenges as opportunities, champion innovation, and foster a spirit of collaboration and compassion towards the next 25 years.
May you all enjoy this evening of celebration. May God bless you all and may God bless Fiji.  
Vinaka Vakalevu and Thank You.