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September 30, 2009

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Home » Metro » Expat Community

City honors expats for high-value contributions

CITY government yesterday presented its top expatriate honors - the Magnolia Gold Award and Honorary Citizen of Shanghai title - to 16 foreigners in recognition of their contributions to social and economic development.

The awards recipients were from the United States, Britain, Japan, Malaysia, Australia, the Netherlands, Canada, Germany, Switzerland and Belgium.

Mayor Hen Zheng presented the honors, named after the city's flower, in City Hall, bestowing badges and certificates on this year's recipients. With the city on final countdown to celebrations that begin tomorrow marking the 60th anniversary of the founding of New China, the ceremony took on a festive atmosphere.

The honorary citizenship titles were presented to Britain's Richard Yorke, president and chief executive officer of HSBC Bank (China) Co Ltd, and Germany's Klaus Toepfer, a former undersecretary general of the United Nations and a guest professor at Shanghai's Tongji University.

Yorke, 42, was praised for leadership that has contributed to developing Shanghai into a financial services center. He was also honored for his contributions to the training and development of local talent in the banking industry.

"It's an enormous honor for me and HSBC especially on the 60th anniversary of the People's Republic of China," Yorke said at the award ceremony. "I am delighted and extremely proud."

He said the honor recognizes the work he and his company have done to help foster development of Shanghai's financial industry.

Toepfer, 71, was honored for advancing cooperation between the UN Environment Programs and Tongji University.

The German also supports Shanghai's environmental protection efforts and acts as an environmental consultant to the local government.

The 14 other foreigners who were given the Magnolia Gold Award were top management officials with multinational companies, scholars and medical experts.

They were recognized not only for their outstanding achievements in promoting the city's economic development but also for their support for social welfare, scientific research and education.

So far, 223 foreigners have won the Magnolia Gold Award and 32 have been given the title of honorary citizen of Shanghai.

These top awards for foreign nationals are presented annually by the municipal government.


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