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September 16, 2021

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Shanghai honor for 50 expatriates

Fifty foreign nationals were honored with the Magnolia Silver Award yesterday for their outstanding contributions to Shanghai’s development.

The award, named after the city flower, was initiated by the Shanghai government in 1989 to honor foreigners for their contributions to the city. Till now, 1,316 expatriates have received the award.

“As international elites and industrial leaders, they left their homelands from all over the world for Shanghai and have worked actively here,” said Zhang Xiaosong, director-general of the Shanghai Foreign Affairs Office, at the award presentation ceremony at the Bellagio Shanghai Hotel.

“They have made great efforts to promote international cooperation, advance joint scientific research, enhance cultural exchanges and mutual trust, and drive harmonious social development in the city.

“With unremitting efforts, they have made outstanding achievements and contributions in all walks of life, showing their love for the city with their actions and the magnolia spirit of blossoming against the chill,” he said.

This year’s recipients are from various sectors, including economy and trade, finance, shipping, education, science and technology, health care, sports and culture.

Zhang said though international travel and people-to-people exchanges are still being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Shanghai has always been insisting on cooperation and communication on its path to opening up.

“It is the philosophy and vision of seeking common ground while reserving differences and being inclusive that has fostered faster and better development of our city.”

He invited international friends to continue to work together with local people to create a better life.

Kamran-Charles Vossoughi, president and chief executive officer of Michelin China, expressed his gratitude to the Shanghai government and people for the honor on behalf of the 50 recipients. The Frenchman arrived in Shanghai in 2019.

“When I received my work permit from the staff of the Exit-Entry Administration, the officer told me: ‘Welcome to Shanghai! From now on, Shanghai is your home.’ ‘Home,’ after two years of living and working in Shanghai, this word echoes in my ears again and again, and the meaning of this word has gone deeper as time has evolved,” he said.

Vossoughi said the city impressed him with its inclusiveness for foreigners working here, its excellent business environment, especially the support and care the government has given during the pandemic, and its vitality, talent, technology, innovation and cooperation, which give multinational corporations the confidence to establish their Chinese headquarters in Shanghai.

“On behalf of all the distinguished winners of the Magnolia Silver Award, we shall try our utmost to contribute to Shanghai’s economic and social development,” he said.


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