For­eign tal­ents hon­ored with award

China Daily (Canada) - - SHANGHAI - By YU RAN in Shang­hai

yu­ran@chi­nadaily.com.cn

A to­tal of 50 ex­pa­tri­ates from 19 coun­tries re­ceived the 2015 Mag­no­lia Award in Shang­hai on Septem­ber 8 as a re­ward for their con­tri­bu­tions to the city’s de­vel­op­ment.

The 50 award win­ners, who work in a va­ri­ety of in­dus­tries in­clud­ing trad­ing, fi­nance, science and tech­nol­ogy, cul­ture and ed­u­ca­tion, re­ceived the cer­tifi­cates and medals from Zhang Xiaosong, di­rec­tor-gen­eral of Shang­hai Mu­nic­i­pal For­eign Af­fairs Of­fice.

Named af­ter the city flower, the Mag­no­lia Award was set up by the Shang­hai Mu­nic­i­pal­ity in 1989 to rec­og­nize the con­tri­bu­tions made by out­stand­ing in­ter­na­tional friends to Shang­hai’s for­eign re­la­tions and de­vel­op­ment. A to­tal of 1,009 for­eign­ers have re­ceived the award to date.

“Over the past 26 years, this award has re­ceived enor­mous sup­port from joint com­mit­tee mem­bers and in­deed the whole city, and it is widely rec­og­nized by all com­mu­ni­ties of the so­ci­ety,” said Zhang. “They made Shang­hai their sec­ond home and have ac­tively pro­moted co­op­er­a­tion be­tween Shang­hai and the rest of the world in many fields… Shang­hai’s ro­bust growth has ben­e­fited from these in­ter­na­tional friends’ wis­dom and hard work, and their con­tri­bu­tion and friend­ship will al­ways be re­mem­bered by the peo­ple of Shang­hai.”

Ac­cord­ing to sta­tis­tics pro­vided by Shang­hai Mu­nic­i­pal Hu­man Re­sources and So­cial Se­cu­rity Bureau, there are about 88,000 for­eign ex­perts from 139 coun­tries liv­ing and work­ing in Shang­hai per­ma­nently, ac­count­ing for one-sixth of the pop­u­la­tion of for­eign­ers in China.

“Dur­ing these eight years in Shang­hai, I have seen a ma­jor evo­lu­tion of the city — changes so fast that we can say they cor­re­spond to the changes that would have taken 30 to 50 years to achieve in other cities,” said one of the win­ners, French­man Pas­cal Yves Joseph Metivier.

Metivier, who is the ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent for re­search and in­no­va­tion at Solvay Group, first came to China 20 years ago and had the op­por­tu­nity to re­turn in 2007.

“We all re­mem­ber the slo­gan of Shang­hai Expo 2010, which was ‘Bet­ter City, Bet­ter Life.’ It still leads and unites us here in our own man­ner as we look for­ward to con­tin­u­ing this ad­ven­ture in de­vel­op­ing this fan­tas­tic city,” added Metivier.

In light of Shang­hai’s eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tion and its drive to be­come a global hub for science and tech­nol­ogy in­no­va­tion, Zhang ex­pressed hope that the Mag­no­lia Award can help at­tract even more tal­ents to boost the city’s growth.

“Against this back­drop, we sin­cerely hope that the award will en­cour­age more in­ter­na­tional friends in Shang­hai to en­hance ex­change and co­op­er­a­tion be­tween Shang­hai and other coun­tries, and make fresh con­tri­bu­tions to the so­cial and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment of the city,” Zhang said.

GAO ERQIANG / CHINA DAILY

Pas­cal Yves Joseph Metivier, ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent for re­search and in­no­va­tion at Solvay Group, cel­e­brates his achieve­ment af­ter the award cer­e­mony.

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