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April 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade
Francisco Sanchez today arrived in the southern Chinese city of
Guangzhou to present
Harley Seyedin, President of the American Chamber of Commerce in
South China, with the "Peace Through Commerce Medal" at a gala dinner for more than 500 local diplomats, dignitaries and business leaders.
Mr. Seyedin has spent nearly ten years promoting U.S.-
China trade ties through his volunteer work at the American Chamber of Commerce in
South China. During that time, he has grown the business association's membership in
Hainan and the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region from approximately 200 to more than 2,000; organized multiple internationally-attended forums and exhibitions; represented American business interests in regular meetings with Chinese Central Government officials and lead hundreds of investment missions across the country.
The Peace Through Commerce Medal, commissioned in 1790 by
Thomas Jefferson during his tenure as the nascent
United States' first Secretary of State, has been awarded to fewer than 20 individuals in its 223-year history. It is the highest civilian honor awarded by the U.S. Department of Commerce.
The Medal was presented to the Marquis de la Luzerne and to the Count de Moustier, both of whom had served as Ministers from
the United States. After two centuries of dormancy, the award was reintroduced by Under Secretary Sanchez and today honors an individual; group or organization, either domestic or abroad, who help to promote peace and commerce and whose actions have significantly promoted and developed U.S. export initiatives, encouraged innovative approaches, and improved overall U.S. trade relations.
Originally conceived by Mr. Jefferson as a way to recognize the assistance of foreign diplomats in the years following the Declaration of Independence -- of which Mr. Jefferson was the primary author -- the Peace Through Commerce Medal is cast from a die sculpted by
Augustin Dupre. The award's obverse is inscribed with the legend "TO PEACE AND COMMERCE," is dated "IVJUL.MDCCLXXVI" and features the personification of America bearing a cornucopia for Hermes, the Greek patron of commerce. Its reverse is said to feature one of the most accurate depictions of the Great Seal of
the United States ever created for its inclusion of rays of light "breaking through a cloud."
About The American Chamber of Commerce in South China
The American Chamber of Commerce in
South China (AmCham South China) is a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to facilitating bilateral trade between
the United States and
the People's Republic of China. Certified in 1995 by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in
Washington D.C., AmCham South China represents more than 2,000 corporate and individual members, is governed by a fully-independent Board of Governors elected from its membership, and provides dynamic, on-the-ground support for American and International companies doing business in
South China. In 2012, AmCham South China hosted nearly 10,000 business executives and government leaders from around the world at its briefings, seminars, committee meetings and social gatherings. The American Chamber of Commerce in
South China is a fully-independent organization accredited by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in
Washington, D.C. All AmChams in
China are independently governed and represent member companies in their respective regions.
SOURCE AmCham South China