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Italy awards two Chinese nationals for contribution to bilateral friendship

Editor: Zhang Jianfeng 丨Xinhua

04-08-2014 07:20 BJT

MILAN, Italy, April 7 (Xinhua) -- Two Chinese nationals have been conferred an important honor by the Italian republic for their contributions to collaborative relationships between the two countries, Xinhua learnt on Monday.

The office of Italian President Giorgio Napolitano confirmed to Xinhua that Gao Jian, former vice president of China Development Bank and president of Mandarin Capital Partners' advisory board, and Gao Zhen, a managing partner at Mandarin Capital Partners, have been assigned the "Star of Italy" honor.

The Star of Italy is pursuant to the Italian Foreign Minister's recommendation, which avails of signals coming from diplomatic-consular representatives overseas.

The honor involves one of the highest recognitions conferred by Italy on Italians or foreign individuals who have contributed to "collaborative relationships or friendship between Italy and the countries in which they operate," according to the presidential website.

Mandarin Capital Partners' office told Xinhua that the ceremony conferring the Star of Italy will take place in June at the Italian embassy in Beijing, where the pair will receive the honor from Italian Ambassador to China Alberto Bradanini.

Gao Jian will be awarded with the title of Great Official of the Order of the Star of Italy while Gao Zhen will be awarded the title of Official of the Order of the Star of Italy, Napolitano's office also added.

"I believe that this is not only an honor for me, but also for the combined team at Mandarin Capital Partners," Gao Jian said.

"Without the Italian team's guidance and suggestions, I would not have been able to comprehend the cultural differences, or to offer assistance to Italian entrepreneurs. At the same time, without the Chinese team's strong support, I would not have been able to help Italian businesses establish themselves in China or find the right partners," he added.

Gao Zhen said she was very honored by the recognition, which highlighted a true Sino-Italian and Sino-European relationship bridge. "I want to contribute to the implementation of these relations," she stressed.

Mandarin Capital Partners is a private equity fund that creates ties between medium-sized European businesses and commercial and industrial partners in China. The fund supports portfolio companies in the process of growth and internationalization.

The European team based in Milan and Frankfurt and the Chinese team based in Beijing and Shanghai work as an integrated unit to add value to their portfolio companies.

The first fund's committed capital totaled 328 million euros (450 million U.S. dollars). Between 2008 and 2012, the fund realized nine investments in European businesses and one in a Chinese business. The team was now raising their second fund and selecting new investments, according to a statement from Mandarin Capital Partners' office.

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