Two business leaders receive Singapore's Public Service Star award

Mr Paul Polman (left) and Mr Paul Roger Adams received the award from President Tony Tan Keng Yam.
Mr Paul Polman (left) and Mr Paul Roger Adams received the award from President Tony Tan Keng Yam.PHOTOS: EDB

SINGAPORE - Two top foreign business executives were given national honours for their contributions to Singapore's economic development on Friday (March 18).

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 positioning Singapore as a key business centre for Unilever, said the Economic Development Board in a statement.

Under Mr Polman's direction, Unilever chose Singapore as the home for its first global training and development centre outside of London.

The state-of-the-art campus was completed in 2013, and close to 5,000 of Unilever's senior managers converge here annually for leadership 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."

The EDB recognised Mr Adams as a "tireless champion and advocate of Singapore" who helped cement a long-term agreement and relationship road map between EDB and Pratt & Whitney's parent company, United Technologies Corporation.

Mr Adams also provided many opportunities for Singaporeans to assume leadership positions within Pratt & Whitney and further their learning and development, which has resulted in significant contributions to the growth of Singapore's aerospace industry.

Mr Adams said: "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. I look forward to the opportunity to continue these great friendships in the years to come."

Dr Beh Swan Gin, chairman of the EDB, 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."

marilee@sph.com.sg