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Evergreen Group chairman awarded German decoration (update)

Evergreen Group chairman awarded German decoration (update)

Taipei, March 13 (CNA) Evergreen Group Chairman Chang Yung-fa received a decoration from the German government Thursday honoring his contributions to relations between Germany and Taiwan. Chang, who runs one of the world's biggest shipping companies, was presented with the Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany by Mirko Kruppa, deputy director-general of the German Institute Taipei, on behalf of German President Joachim Gauck. "I am very delighted and profoundly honored to be here to receive the award bestowed by German President Joachim Gauck," Chang said at the award ceremony in Taipei, which was attended by German and Taiwanese government and company representatives. Chang is the third Taiwanese to receive an Order of Merit from the German government, but his decoration is of a higher rank than those awarded to the two previous recipients. "Dr. Chang Yung-fa and the Evergreen Group have contributed like almost no other company to the strengthening of ties between Germany and Taiwan," Michael Zickerick, director-general of the German Institute Taipei, said in a statement. He noted that Chang's shipping company launched its first round-the-world international shipping service in Hamburg in 1984, "thereby considerably raising the significance of the Port of Hamburg, the City of Hamburg, as well as the Federal Republic of Germany, in global shipping," he said. Frank Horch, senator for economic affairs of the City of Hamburg, who visited Taiwan for the ceremony, thanked Chang for contributing to the prosperity of Hamburg and described him as a man of vision. Chang, 86, founded the conglomerate in 1968 to offer shipping, transportation and related services. He now chairs a multinational corporation that owns 200 container ships and 62 passenger and cargo planes. In 1979, the group's shipping arm, Evergreen Marine Corp. launched the first Taiwan-built container ship to tap into Far East-Europe container trade. It broke the monopoly of Far Eastern Freight Conference on the route and made its first call at Port of Hamburg in Europe. Currently, seven of the company's routes include port calls in Germany. Evergreen Marine ships load and unload over 500,000 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) of cargo at the Port of Hamburg and Port of Bremerhaven in Germany annually, contributing over 40 million euros (US$55.74 million) worth of business to the local shipping and transportation industries each year, according to the Group's estimate. Chang has received 15 decorations from Taiwan and abroad and eight honorary degrees. He is also known for his philanthropic efforts. In 1985, Chang established the Chang Yung-fa Foundation, which provides stipends to financially disadvantaged students and is engaged in other charitable work. Last year, he was named by Forbes magazine for the fifth time as a hero of philanthropy in Asia. (By Christie Chen)


Updated : 2021-03-06 04:54 GMT+08:00