Two foreign business leaders get national award

Mr Paul Polman (above), Unilever's chief executive, along with Mr Adams, former Pratt & Whitney president, received the Public Service Star (Distinguished Friends of Singapore) award. Both men "chose to make Singapore a principal base for the businesses t
Mr Paul Polman (above), Unilever's chief executive, along with Mr Adams, former Pratt & Whitney president, received the Public Service Star (Distinguished Friends of Singapore) award. Both men "chose to make Singapore a principal base for the businesses they lead", said Mr Beh, EDB's chairman.ST PHOTO: JAMIE KOH

Two top foreign business leaders were given national honours for their contributions to Singapore’s economic development yesterday.

Mr Paul Polman, chief executive of consumer goods giant Unilever, and Mr Paul Roger Adams, former president of aircraft engine maker Pratt & Whitney, received the Public Service Star (Distinguished Friends of Singapore) award from President Tony Tan Keng Yam.

Mr Polman, who is Dutch, has been the driving force in positioning Singapore as a key business centre for Unilever, said the Economic Development Board (EDB) in a statement. Under his direction, Unilever chose Singapore as home for its first global training and development centre outside of London.

The campus was completed in 2013, and close to 5,000 of Unilever’s senior managers meet here annually for training.

Mr Polman said: “What truly sets Singapore apart are its values – of being pioneering, of integrity, of resilience and of ingenuity. These are what have made this great nation so successful. These are also Unilever’s values, and why we are honoured to call Singapore our second home.”

EDB recognised Mr Adams as a “tireless champion and advocate of Singapore” who helped cement a long-term deal and relationship road map between EDB and Pratt & Whitney’s parent company, United Technologies Corporation. He offered many opportunities for Singaporeans to assume leadership roles in Pratt & Whitney,  contributing to the growth of Singapore’s aerospace sector.

“I will always truly value the great friendship and collaboration that I have established over the years working with my friends and colleagues in Singapore,” said Mr Adams, who is American.

EDB chairman Beh Swan Gin said: “Mr Polman and Mr Adams chose to make Singapore a principal base for the businesses they lead. I congratulate both of them on their awards, and we look forward to deepening our partnerships with them.”
 

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 19, 2016, with the headline 'Two foreign business leaders get national award'. Print Edition | Subscribe