20 Feb 2009
David Lie Awarded French National Order of Merit
Chairman of Hong Kong-France Business Partnership Honoured for
Role in Building Business Relations between Hong Kong and France
20 February 2009 – David Lie, Chairman and CEO of the Newpower Group and Hong Kong Chair of the Hong Kong-France Business Partnership, was awarded the Officier de l'Ordre National du Mérite (National Order of Merit, Officer class) at a ceremony, 18 February, in Hong Kong. Jean-Pierre Thébault, the Consul-General of France in Hong Kong and Macau, presented the award during a reception at the Consul-General's residence.
The French National Order of Merit, which honours exceptional merit over an extended period of time, dates back to the 18th century. It was re-established by General Charles de Gaulle in 1963, and is given at the discretion of the French President. The Order's medal is a Maltese cross in gilt enamelled blue, with laurel leaves between its six sides. The medal is suspended by a laurel wreath.
During the presentation, the Consul-General acknowledged Mr Lie as "a distinguished person, who has played a very distinguished role in Hong Kong society." The Consul- General noted Mr Lie's "prominent" place in building relations between Hong Kong and China. He also emphasised Mr Lie's significance "in developing ties between Hong Kong and the world, in particular, your role in developing relations between Hong Kong and France.
"The Hong Kong-France Business Partnership has been very successful, thanks to your leadership and your ability to draw people to the Partnership in your capacity as Hong Kong Chair. In awarding you this national honour, we are also recognising and honouring your Partnership members and the outstanding work done by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council [HKTDC] in making the Partnership an excellent bilateral business forum."
"I am very honoured to receive the National Order of Merit," said Mr Lie, in a brief acceptance speech. "I would like to thank all of my colleagues in the Hong Kong-France Business Partnership and also in the Hong Kong Trade Development Council. This honour is a joint effort. Without their support, I would not be here this evening."
About 50 prominent Hong Kong and French business and government officials attended the ceremony. These included HKTDC Executive Director Fred Lam and a number of members from both sides of the Hong Kong-France Business Partnership. Mr Lie's family, including his wife and two children, also attended.
The Hong Kong France Business Partnership was established in 2005. Its mission is to promote trade, investment and business cooperation between Hong Kong and France, as well as between the Chinese mainland and France through Hong Kong. Mr Lie has been the Hong Kong Chairman since its inception. The HKTDC and UBIFRANCE, the French governmental agency for international business development, serve as the Business Partnership's secretariat.
The fifth annual plenary of the Hong Kong-France Business Partnership is scheduled to take place 30 November, in Hong Kong. The plenary will coincide with Inno Design Tech Expo (IDT Expo). France will be the partner country at this year's IDT Expo. In addition, Hong Kong and France cooperate on a variety of business and trade events throughout the year, including the annual Hong Kong International Film and TV Market (FILMART), the Cannes Film Market, in Cannes, France, and SILMO, the Paris international optical fair.
France is Hong Kong's 15th most important trading partner. Total trade between the two economies in 2008 was just over US$8 billion, up more than seven per cent over 2007.
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About the HKTDC
Established in 1966, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is the international marketing arm for Hong Kong-based traders, manufacturers and service providers. With more than 40 offices worldwide, including 11 in the Chinese mainland, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with China and Asia. The HKTDC also organises trade fairs and business missions to connect companies with opportunities in Hong Kong and the mainland, while providing information via trade publications, research reports and online. For more information, www.hktdc.com