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Chamber of Commerce chief executive Dougal McGowan said the export awards were in recognition of the "success, vision and grit" of Otago businesses as they tackled international markets.
"The primary and export sectors have been doing so strong in recent years, but that achievement hasn't been celebrated by the community," he said.
The chamber is partnering the awards with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE), Dunedin Airport and Air New Zealand Cargo.
Entries are now open for the four categories, best emerging international business, best medium-large international business, excellence in innovation, and the unsung hero in export.
Mr McGowan said the unsung hero award was to recognise an individual, who may or may not be directly involved in exporting, but who nevertheless had contributed significantly to Otago's export sector.
"There's a lot of businesses doing well around the region and they have great work-forces," he said.
On the day of the awards evening, there will be a half-day export forum, bringing together Otago businesses and individuals with a global focus.
Mr McGowan said there were at least six "short, sharp" presentations in the pipeline, on topics including China investment with Invest Hong Kong, Air New Zealand and access to aerial trade routes, Western Union on foreign Exchange hedging and Business New Zealand on exporting documentation.
The awards are also aligned with NZTE's New Zealand International Business Awards, which means three category winners, excluding unsung hero, would not only compete for the top supreme award for Otago international business, but would be automatically shortlisted for the International Business Awards.
- Applications close on July 26 and judging begins then. The finalists will be announced on August 2 and the awards evening is on August 23.