Thirty-eight foreigners, mostly business executives, were awarded the Magnolia Silver Award by Shanghai municipal government yesterday for outstanding contributions to shanghai's development.
But as officials praised the award winners, some recipients suggested the government could do more to improve local manners as well as the municipality's business environment.
"Shanghai's rapid economic advancement can not be done without your efforts," Yang Guoqiang, director of the Shanghai Foreign Affairs Office, said at the award ceremony yesterday.
He gave a certificate and a silver medal to each of the winners, who came from countries including the United States, Britain, Japan, Germany, Singapore, Malaysia, Canada, South Korea, Belgium, Switzerland and Thailand.
Medal winner Simon Lichtenberg, chief executive officer of Trayton Holdings Ltd, thanked the government on behalf of all those honored.
The Dane came to Shanghai in 1993 with his furniture business, Bo Concept. He has since helped advance the local furniture industry as well as the anti-counterfeit works.
He told Shanghai Daily the municipality had made tremendous progress in infrastructure development but still needed to improve its business ethics.
Andreas Josek, a German silver award winner who is a project manager at New Auto Models of Shanghai Volkswagen, said: "I have witnessed more dynamic economic progress here than in Europe." However, the municipality still has problems such as air and noise pollution, he added.
Kazuyuki Hara, a Japanese winner who is chairman of Shanghai Ricoh Facsimile Company, said: "The municipal government should do more to improve public manners because of the imminent 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2010 World Expo in Shanghai."
The Magnolia Silver Award is given every year to expatriates who have made an outstanding contribution to Shanghai's economic, social or cultural advancement. Since 1989, 543 expats have been given the award.
(Shanghai Daily September 8, 2006)