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September 29, 2012

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Foreigners earn city's top awards

The Shanghai municipal government yesterday presented its highest expatriate honors - the Honorary Citizen of Shanghai and Magnolia Gold Award - to 14 foreigners in recognition of their contributions to the city's social and economic development.

The recipients come from Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine and the United States.

The Honorary Citizen title was presented to Vicente Gonzalez Loscertales of Spain and Noyan Rona of Turkey for making outstanding contributions to boost the city's cultural and economic development over a long period of time.

Mayor Han Zheng presented the awards at a ceremony in China Art Museum, formerly known as China Pavilion.

He bestowed badges and certificates on the recipients amid a festive atmosphere.

The two recipients of the Honorary Citizen title were overwhelmed with emotion.

Loscertales, 65, Secretary General of the Bureau International des Exposition, told Shanghai Daily: "We have been working for many years to prepare (Shanghai) Expo. It's a very emotional moment now for me to receive (the Honorary Citizen title) and be linked with Shanghai and committed to the city.

"We are going to continue our friendship and I will continue doing all I can for Shanghai," Loscertales said.

Rona, 56, chief representative of the Turkish Garantibank Shanghai Representative Office, said: "This is a special award for me and a very special day in my life.

"I'm very happy and honored because it is the highest award the Shanghai city government gives to foreigners," he added.

Thus far, 35 foreigners have been named an Honorary Citizen.

The Magnolia Gold Award, now in its 20th year, is named after the city flower and 259 foreigners have been given this honor.

This year's recipients include entrepreneurs, top executives of multinational businesses as well as experts and scholars in the scientific, education and medical sectors.

Vice Mayor Tu Guangshao extended his gratitude to the award recipients on behalf of the city government at the presentation ceremony.

"The city's achievements would not be possible without your hard work and the people of Shanghai will always remember you for your contributions and friendship," Tu said.

Frenchman Mourad Tamoud, 41, general manager of Schneider Shanghai Power Distribution Elec.App.Co., Ltd, spoke on behalf of the Magnolia award recipients.


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