Fifty expats from 22 countries were recognized by Shanghai’s municipal government for their efforts in promoting the city’s development.
The Shanghai Magnolia Silver Award, named for the official city flower, was created by the government in 1989 to honor foreigners who have made contributions to the city’s social and economic development.
“As an economic center and window of China’s reform and opening-up, Shanghai has become one of the areas in the country with the most active international communication,” said Li Mingjun, director of the Foreign Affairs Office of the Shanghai Municipal People’s Government.
“A great number of foreign nationals study, work or live in Shanghai and bring to the city diverse cultures. They make Shanghai their second home and actively promote cooperation with the rest of the world in a wide range of areas, contributing to the city’s social, economic and cultural development.”
The city offered its sincere thanks to the 50 expats for their contributions, Li said, but he also hoped the winners would continue to support Shanghai’s new round of development in the future.
One winner, Mike O’Riordan, general manager of Ingredion China-National Starch Specialties (Shanghai), hails from Ireland.
“I’m delighted to have won the award. I have been in the city for three years. Shanghai is a very dynamic city and full of energy. I like it too much.”
O’Riordan has worked to promote food safety, providing support for some regulation-making in the city.
Another Shanghai Magnolia Silver Award winner this year said he has seen many changes in the city and will present a photo exhibition next year documenting many of those to the public.
“I first came to Shanghai in 1983. This is my 21st time of visiting the city,” said Alain Caporossi, a Frenchman who is secretary-general of the Federation of French-Chinese Associations.
“I have seen great changes over the years. I hope in the future there will be more cooperation and exchanges between Shanghai and France.”
The exhibition of photographs he is preparing shows the city’s history and the high speed of development.
The Shanghai Magnolia Silver Award is a major prize for the city’s expats. Winners are named at the annual presentation ceremony after nomination by various organizations and careful evaluation.
Over the past quarter-century, more than 900 expats have received the award, according to the city’s foreign affairs office.