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