CIGNA boss wins top award for foreigners
By Sun Xiaohua (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-01-11 05:44
The boss of a US multinational which was a strong advocate of China's entry
to the World Trade Organization was yesterday bestowed the nation's highest
honour given to a foreign business leader.
H. Edward Hanway, the chairman and chief executive officer of insurance giant
CIGNA, was presented the Marco Polo Award for his great contributions to pushing
forward Sino-US relations.
"The award is for friendly
envoys who make contributions to exchanges between China and other countries,
like Marco Polo did for the relations between China and the West 750 years ago,"
said Zhang Jianguo, vice-director of the State Administration of Foreign Experts
H. Edward Hanway: A
Accepting the award, Hanway said: "With this award you honour me and my
company. You also encourage all of us in the business arena to further promote
and enhance bilateral relations between our two nations."
Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing sent his congratulations, saying he appreciated
Hanway's contributions towards Sino-US exchanges.
CIGNA has a long history in China. One of its predecessor companies was the
insurer in 1798 for cargo ships sailing between Philadelphia and what was then
Canton during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).
"Then CIGNA returned to China in 1994. We have worked diligently to develop
and cultivate the insurance market here," Hanway said.
Today, its joint venture operation, CIGNA & CMC Life Insurance Co Ltd,
provides protection-oriented life, accident and supplemental health insurance
The Marco Polo Award was set up in 1987 by the State Administration of
Foreign Experts Affairs, the China International Talent Exchange Foundation and
the Sino-US Talent Exchange Foundation.
More than 30 renowned personalities have received the award, including George
H. W. Bush, the former US president; George Fisher, chairman and CEO of Kodak;
and Alex Trotman, chairman and CEO of Ford.
(China Daily 01/11/2006 page1)