Helmut Guesten, a 39-year-old German engineer, has been named one of 24 candidates for the seventh 10 Excellent Youth of Nanjing competition.
The final 10 will be chosen by the people of Nanjing, the capital city of East China's Jiangsu Province.
Voting opened yesterday, when people in the city were able to read detailed information on the 24 candidates in both the local Nanjing Daily newspaper and locally based websites.
Xu Hong, secretary of the organizing committee, said: "Compared with the previous elections, this is the first time a foreigner has been a candidate in such an activity, which shows that the city government cares for the foreign people living here."
As the general manager of the Leitz (Nanjing) Tooling Systems Corp, Guesten has been working and living in the city since 1996.
Under his leadership, the corporation last year achieved a turnover of more than 40 million yuan (US$4.8 million) and paid 5.16 million yuan (US$620,000) in tax. These levels were 50 per cent higher than those of 2001.
In the eyes of his staff, Guesten is not only interested in the corporation's development but also concerned with the employees, trying his best to improve both their working and living conditions.
In both 1999 and 2000, he was named as an "excellent manager" who cared very much for his employees by the trade union in the Jiangning Development Zone in southeastern Nanjing.
Apart from being a good leader and manager, Guesten is a public-spirited businessman.
He and his corporation have sponsored many cultural activities and sports meets at different universities, institutes and districts in Nanjing. Whenever possible, he gives university students the chance to visit the corporation or do an internship there.
In 2001, Leitz (Nanjing) began to offer the Leitz Scholarship to students studying at Nanjing Forestry University. With Guesten's help, delegations of Nanjing Forestry University went to Germany, meeting German scholars and experts there.
The competition organizing committee said the election campaign began on March 19 this year. Altogether, 97 units and public organizations recommended 109 candidates.
(China Daily April 15, 2003)