Foreign firms honored for poverty alleviation efforts
Foreign companies are an important force in China’s efforts to alleviate poverty, and their contributions were honored at an event hosted by the Shanghai Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, the Shanghai Foreign Investment Association and Shanghai Daily.
More than 200 guests, including those from foreign companies, local governments and non-government organizations, attended the Foreign-Invested Enterprise Poverty Alleviation Awards Ceremony on Wednesday evening.
There were awards for 22 cases of poverty alleviation by foreign companies. YumChina, Starbucks, IKEA, L’Oreal, Signify, Roche, Sony, Amway and Land Rover were among those receiving trophies for their poverty alleviation practices, divided into poverty alleviation via business links, through health care, through education, through improving vocational skills and through infrastructure construction.
Karolina Horoszczak, IKEA China communication and public affairs vice president, said its project, which supported boarding school children in remote areas to live in a home-like environment, reflected its determination to do what it believes in.
“As everything starts at home, we also strongly believe that this will help them to make their dreams come true — to be doctors, nurses, or painters as they aspire to be,” Horoszczak said.
Sindy Chen, of L’Oreal China, said her company is more than willing to support women to work in the beauty industry by free tutoring in make-up.
“We have helped more than 6,000 women to learn the skills of using cosmetics, and the project will continue next year and the years following, to make the lives of more women more beautiful,” Chen said.
Zhu Yi, deputy director of the Shanghai Commission of Commerce, said foreign companies had made special contributions to Shanghai’s economic development, and the award ceremony could mobilize more social forces to take part in poverty alleviation.
Shanghai Daily Chief Zhu Jiajian said the awards were so diversified, indicating innovation capabilities of foreign companies in China.
“Companies are really devoted to the call of poverty alleviation, and the quality of the practices are so high that people can strive to have a good life after getting help from being mired in poverty,” Zhu said.
A batch of new projects was unveiled at the event to connect more foreign companies with remote rural areas in China.