SIF Stalwart Conferred Magnolia Award for Outstanding Contributions to Shanghai-Singapore Ties

Shanghai, China, 2 December 2013 – Singapore International Foundation (SIF) Governor Professor Cham Tao Soon, 74, was awarded the Magnolia Silver Award by the Foreign Affairs Office, Shanghai Municipal People’s Government at a presentation ceremony held in conjunction with the conclusion of the 2013 Singapore-China Young Business Ambassadors (YBA) Programme. The award, named after Shanghai’s city flower, is presented annually to honour foreigners who have made outstanding contributions to Shanghai’s social and economic development through foreign exchange and cooperation.

Professor Cham is recognised for his tireless efforts at championing SIF’s Singapore-China YBA Progamme which has nurtured a close network of 77 Chinese and Singaporean young business professionals to date. The exchange programme provides young Singaporean and Shanghainese business professionals the opportunity to work and live in each other’s cities for between 10 to 12 weeks. Launched by SIF in 2004, it is organised in partnership with the Shanghai People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (SPAFFC) and Shanghai Administration for Foreign Experts Affairs (SAFEA), the former of which was Professor Cham’s nominating party.

“I am honoured to receive this award. It is really an endorsement of SIF’s efforts over the last nine years at bringing together and nurturing relationships between Singaporean and Chinese business professionals, and communities at large, through the YBA Programme. The award also underscores the good partnership between SIF, SPAFFC and SAFEA – both at the personal and institutional levels – in connecting and building people-to-people relationships between our two countries,” said Professor Cham in his acceptance speech.

SPAFFC Executive Vice President Mr Wang Xiaoshu, who presented Professor Cham the award, said: “I am delighted that Professor Cham received the Magnolia Silver Award. We are grateful to the efforts and contributions by Professor Cham and SIF over the years in promoting the development, training and exchange between talented Shanghainese and Singaporean professionals.”

During the award ceremony, which was attended by Singapore Consul-General in Shanghai Mr Ong Siew Gay, Professor Cham also shared with guests that he was very heartened by how the YBA network recently got together to volunteer with CapitaLand Hope Foundation and Habitat for Humanity China to rebuild homes for families affected by the April Sze Chuan earthquake.

“The SIF is about bringing together world communities to do good and this collaboration between present and past Singaporean and Chinese YBA participants demonstrates how friendships and networks nurtured through cross cultural programmes can be harnessed to build a better world,” said Professor Cham.

2014 marks the 10th year anniversary of the Singapore-China YBA Programme. To celebrate a decade of friendships forged through the exchange programme, the SIF, SPAFFC and SAFEA are working with YBA partners and alumni to publish a compilation of anecdotes and perspectives, to further promote understanding between Singaporean and Chinese communities through professional and personal insights gained from the YBA Programme. The book is scheduled to be launched in September 2014.


Past Singaporean recipients of the Magnolia Silver Award include Dean of Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy Professor, Kishore Mahbubani in 2012, and Founder of Hyflux Group, Ms Olivia Lum in 2009



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