Fifty foreigners receive Shanghai Magnolia Award

Updated : 2020-09-24


Fifty foreign winners of 2020 Shanghai Magnolia Award take a group photo on Sept 16, Shanghai. [Photo/WeChat account: ForeignTalentsInSH]

The presentation ceremony of the Shanghai Magnolia Award 2020 was held in Shanghai on Sept 16.

Fifty foreigners from 19 countries were conferred the award.

The Shanghai Magnolia Award is given to foreigners who have made outstanding contributions to Shanghai's economic and social development and fostering external exchange. To date, 1,266 foreigners have been given the award.

The award winners this year come from various fields including economy, trade, finance, technology, education, culture, health, and friendly exchanges.

Among them are foreign experts employed by universities and research institutes, such as Kurt Wuthrich, who is a professor at the iHuman Institute, Shanghai Tech University and winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2002. Ching-Hon Pui, the chief adviser of the Hematologic Tumor Center, Shanghai Children's Medical Center, was also among the recipients of the award.

The requirements for the award winners include having a good social reputation and public image, engaging in long-term cooperation and exchange with Shanghai, carrying out pragmatic cooperation with Shanghai in economic construction and promoting Shanghai's diplomatic activities.

The Shanghai Magnolia Award is usually given to the foreigners who have worked in Shanghai for at least two years, or those who have cooperated with Shanghai for more than five years and made outstanding contributions.

According to the standards set by Classification Standard for International Talents, the winners of the Shanghai Magnolia Award can be classified as Type A High-level Foreign Talents. These individuals can apply for five-year work permits.

Shanghai boasts a good business environment, outstanding talents and a harmonious international community. The city is striving to become the "Five Center" (center of international economy, finance, trade, shipping and technological innovation) while strengthening the "Four Functions" (global resource allocation, providing resource for technological innovation, leading high-end industries, opening hub gateway).

On behalf of the winners, Lutz Frankholz, executive director of TÜV Rheinland's Shanghai Branch, addressed the presentation ceremony of the Shanghai Magnolia Award and spoke highly of China's efforts and achievements in the fight against COVID-19. He said that his decision to move to China eight years ago has been the right decision, seeing how China has so decisively overcome the challenges brought by the pandemic.

Kazuto Daimon, vice president and general manager of YKK (China) Investment Co Ltd, said that he is honored to win the Shanghai Magnolia Award. He said: "Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the government has provided much support to help us resume work. Preferential policies and support have been provided in terms of tax and social security, enabling us to recover to the condition before the epidemic. Our revenue for this year is expected to exceed that of 2018. I have great confidence in Shanghai's economy."

"This honor means a lot for me. It is not a personal award. It belongs to Volvo and the whole research team of the Asia Pacific region. Our team has been committed to providing first-class, competitive, and up-to-date products and services for customers. This belief will lead us to making more reforms and contributing more to the overall strength and global competitiveness of domestic cars," said Jan-Erik Larsson, vice president for R&D of Volvo Asia Pacific Region.

Yukio Arita, president and general manager of Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance (China) Co Ltd, said that he has learned through the presentation ceremony that people from different countries have been contributing to Shanghai's development. This has given him a sense of mission.

Columbian player Giovanni Moreno from Shanghai Greenland Shenhua Football Club said: "I'm very honored to win the award. I know its importance. I don't feel that I have done many special things for Shanghai. These years in Shanghai, I just did what I should do. Maybe these little things touched other people and they accept my contribution. Thanks a lot."

Dimitri Lavillette, a professor from the Institute Pasteur of Shanghai of Chinese Academy of Sciences (IPS-CAS), is an expert on the prevention and treatment of the hepatitis C virus and the invasion and infection mechanisms of the arborvirus. He has developed new antiviral strategies, continuously carried out international cooperation in scientific research projects, and published many influential papers and patents.

"Shanghai provides good opportunities and a broad platform for foreigners to work here, and I believe that more and more talents will gather in Shanghai," He said.

After the COVID-19 outbreak, he actively participated in the research of the novel coronavirus at IPS-CAS, including the evaluation of vaccine potency, the exploration of the cell mechanism of COVID-19 invasion, and the study of the evolutionary path of the transmission between species. He also participated in the COVID 19 Horizon 2020 RECoVER project in Europe.