Greater China

Belgian port executive receives special honour in Shanghai

Shanghai: Jan Van der Borght, the representative of the port of Antwerp in Shanghai, has been presented with the Golden Magnolia Award. Two years ago he won the Silver Magnolia Award, so that now he is only the second Belgian and the first representative of a foreign port to receive both the Silver and Golden awards.

The Magnolia Awards are an initiative of the Bureau of Foreign Affairs and are presented to foreigners living in Shanghai who have made a particular contribution to the economic development and international standing of the city.

In past years Van Der Borght has among other things helped to develop relations between the Shanghai Maritime University and the University of Antwerp, and between the China Maritime Museum and the MAS Museum in Antwerp. His efforts to promote economic relations between Antwerp and Shanghai have also not gone unnoticed. And yet this second recognition came as a surprise to him: “When I was the first port representative to receive the Silver Magnolia Award in 2012, I never dreamed of receiving a second, even higher award,” says Van Der Borght. “This is clear recognition of our efforts over the past years to bring the two cities of Antwerp and Shanghai, twinned with one another for the past 30 years, closer together not only economically but also in the historical, cultural and educational fields.”

As the representative of the port Van der Borght has worked since 2008 to raise the name recognition of Antwerp in China, in particular the region around Shanghai and South China. Among other things he is one of the main driving forces behind the Port Days that are regularly organised in China by Antwerp Port Authority. In October Eddy Bruyninckx and Luc Arnouts, respectively CEO and Chief Commercial Officer of Antwerp Port Authority, will visit Shanghai as part of the Antwerp trade mission headed by mayor Bart De Wever.

Van der Borght was presented with the award on Monday at a ceremony in Shanghai Town Hall by mayor Yang Xiong. Eight other foreigners also received a Golden Magnolia Award on this occasion, and in addition 50 Silver Magnolias were presented. [01/10/14]

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