In 2009, Prof. Pedro Nueno was awarded the “”The People’s Republic of China Friendship Award” by the Chinese Government. This is the People’s Republic of China’s highest award for “foreign experts who have made outstanding contributions to the country’s economic and social progress”.
Every year, 50 foreign experts are selected for the award, while 100 can qualify at certain anniversary celebrations. A total of 1,249 foreign experts, from 67 countries and regions have received the Chinese government’s Friendship Award, since 1991.
It has a positive and important influence on foreign experts working in China and many of them treasure it. It is a great honor for experts to be invited to the awards ceremony and it is not only in recognition of the foreign expert’s contribution to the Chinese, but also a symbol of friendship.
During his speech at the awarding ceremony, Prof. Nueno promised to create an award in return to those Chinese people who have made an outstanding contribution to the world. This is how the International Friendship award concept was born.
In 2014, an international jury chosen by a Committee of professors of the China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) and composed of people of the maximum level of the academic and management fields, granted in Barcelona the first International Friendship Award to top level Chinese people who had a history of contributing to China and to the world in a professional way. The award was given by Dr. Andreu Mas Colell, Minister of Economy of Catalonia and Dr. Jordi Canals, Dean of IESE. The five awardees of the first edition of the International Friendship award (2014) were Dr. Jiren Liu, Chairman and CEO, NeuSoft Corporation; Mr. Shi Lirong, CEO, ZTE; Mr. Cai Mingpo, Founder and President, Cathay Capital Private Equity; Mr. Liu Qiangdong, Founder and CEO, JD.com; and Ms. Yang Lan, Co-Founder, Sun Media Group. All five of them travelled to Barcelona to receive the award.
The second edition of the International Friendship Award was held on April 9th, 2018 in Madrid. Her Majesty Queen Letizia of Spain presided the ceremony and delivered the awards to Mr. Eric Li, Chairman of Chengwei Capital; Ms. Celina Chew, President of Bayer Group Greater China and Chairwoman of Bayer (China); Mr. Lin Liangqi, President of Akzo Nobel China and Managing Director of Akzo Nobel’s Decorative Paints, China and North Asia Region and Ms. Sun Yafang, former Chairwoman of Huawei.
The third edition will be held in Madrid, on October 30, 2019.