Two senior executives conferred national honours

Two senior executives were given national honours for their significant contributions towards Singapore's industry development.

Sir Andrew Witty, the chief executive of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) received the Public Service Star (Distinguished Friends of Singapore) while the chief operating officer of Unilever Harish Manwani received the Public Service Medal.

President Tony Tan Keng Yam gave out the medals at The Istana on Tuesday.

As a member of the Economic Development Board's (EDB) International Advisory Council, Sir Andrew, 48, provides valuable perspectives on strategies for Singapore's economic development.

He advanced the local biomedical sciences industry and helped Singapore embark on new growth areas like biologics, sustainability research in pharmaceuticals and fine chemicals manufacturing.

GSK's total investment in Singapore has exceeded $1.5 billion and its employees have almost doubled to 1,400 in the last decade.

On the other hand, Mr Manwani, 59, has made strong contributions as a member of the EDB board and the Human Capital Leadership Institute.

He was instrumental in Unilever's decision to establish its global leadership development centre - Four Acres - in Singapore with an investment of more than $80 million.

Both men were strong proponents for Singapore's position as a global and Asian hub for international companies, including GSK and Unilever.