Singapore Monday, 26 June 2006 – Forbes Inc announced today that Li Ka-shing, Chairman of Hong KongVbased Cheung Kong Holdings and Hutchison Whampoa Limited (HWL), will be the first recipient of the Malcolm S. Forbes Lifetime Achievement Award.
The Award, named for Forbes’ legendary chairman, honors a lifetime of achievement as a hero of entrepreneurial capitalism. It is the highest form of recognition of global business success bestowed by Forbes Inc on a single individual. Above all, the recipient should embody and exemplify the ideals of free enterprise. The Award is open to entrepreneurs from any country or field of business. Candidates are selected by the Forbes family and senior management of Forbes Inc.
Mr Li, 78, will receive the Award from Steve Forbes, President and CEO of Forbes Inc, and Editor-in-Chief of Forbes Magazine, at the Forbes Global CEO Conference in Singapore on September 5, 2006.
Mr Forbes said: “Few entrepreneurs in Asia, indeed in the world, have achieved so much from such humble beginnings, building a business empire which spans 54 countries and multiple industries.
“Li Ka-shing is often referred to as “Superman” in Hong Kong. In fact, business leaders around the world also see him as a man of steel with incredible strength and resolve to turn vision and ideas into success.
“He and his companies have contributed immensely to the economic well-being of society not only through the creation of hundreds of thousands of jobs, but also through enriching the lives of consumers with an ever growing array of products and services, and multiplying the wealth of shareholders.
“Mr Li has also touched another segment of society in a profound way. His Li Ka-shing Foundation is one of the largest donors to charities and community projects in the world.
Mr Li said: “I am honored by Forbes Magazine and the Forbes family for this recognition, particularly as we share a belief in the spirit of enterprise, philanthropy and service. That’s what this recognition means to me.
“I have often wondered if we could aggregate on a balance sheet all that we have accomplished or lost throughout mankind’s historic transmutation, what will be the most true and fair view? I believe we would see philanthropic efforts as an investment, and not a cost, as it is through the collective effect of individual efforts we can build a society that is just, equitable and shared by all.”
Born in 1928 in Chiu Chow, a coastal city in southern China, Mr Li was taken by his parents to Hong Kong to avoid the perils of war. The death of his father forced him to quit school before the age of 15 to support his family. Finding a job in a plastics trading company, he labored 16 hours a day.
By 1950, his hard work, prudence and entrepreneurial instincts led him to start his own company, Cheung Kong Industries. Reflecting his philosophy that success is not earned alone, the company was named after the Yangtze River that flows through China, a great river that aggregates countless streams and tributaries. Cheung Kong began manufacturing plastics before branching into real estate investment.
Cheung Kong was listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 1972. It continued to expand by acquiring HWL and Hong Kong Electric Holdings Limited in 1979 and 1985 respectively.
Today, the Cheung Kong and Hutchison Whampoa Groups’ businesses encompass such diverse areas as property development, hotels, telecommunications and related value added services, e-commerce, finance and investments, retail, ports, energy, infrastructure projects and materials, media and biotechnology.
Mr Li is ranked the 10th richest man in the world with an estimated net worth of US$18.8 billion, and the richest person of Chinese descent, according to Forbes Magazine’s 2006 rankings.
The Li Ka-shing Foundation, set up in 1980, is one of the biggest charitable organizations in the world, with grants, sponsorships and commitment of over US$1 billion, with a focus in education and medical research projects.
William Adamopoulos, President & Publisher, Forbes Asia said: “We are pleased that Li Ka-shing will be accepting the first Malcolm S. Forbes Award at the 2006 Forbes Global CEO Conference in September. Given the attendees will include many of the world’s top entrepreneurs and CEOs, it will be an occasion well suited to honor Mr Li.”
The 2006 Forbes Global CEO Conference will be held from September 4-6, at Sentosa, Singapore’s island resort. Over 350 business leaders, tycoons, thought-leaders and politicians are expected to attend this event.
It is the region’s foremost CEO conference, serving as an annual opportunity for corporate leaders to discuss and debate key issues of global concern, and to build relationships.
The Forbes Global CEO Conference was launched in Singapore in 2001. In the last four years, the Conference has traveled to Sydney, Australia, Hong Kong, SAR and Shanghai, PRC, before returning to Singapore for three years from 2006 to 2008.