Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The man who turned the lights on.... Gordon Wu

When Sir Gordon Wu, chairman of Hopewell Highway infrastructure, was a student at Princeton in the 1950s he dreamt of Chinese superhighways when China was a poor and closed economy.

A few decades later, Wu won the contract to build China’s first superhighway between Shenzhen and Guangzhou. Wu was offered an incentive by the Chinese government - the faster he could complete the highway, the higher his profit would be. Cutting through the bureaucracy, bringing the best of global technology and finance, Wu deputed 30,000 labourers who took only 32 weeks to finish 72-mile (116km) superhighway that today zips across the fastest growing region in the world

By doing so, China set in motion a positive precedence of regional economic development of the scale and size , the world has never seen before...

Sir Gordon is one of the founders of the Hopewell group and is the Chairman of Hopewell Holdings Ltd and Hopewell Highway Infrastructure Ltd, both companies are listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Hopewell’s major businesses include PRC infrastructure, property letting, hotel operation and property construction.

Gordon Wu is the Hong Kong businessman who created Hopewell Holdings and who achieved huge success and wealth in developing the infrastructure of Hong Kong and mainland China. Inspired by his university education at Princeton in the USA, he took his engineering skills and combined them with the entrepreneurial spirit from his father, who created Hong Kong's first taxi fleet, and combined them innate drive to develop one of the most dynamic firms in East Asia.

His creations include the road from Hong Kong to Guangzhou, the first five-star hotel in China, a string of power stations and the encomium from former Philippines Premier Fidel Ramos that he was the man who turned the lights on. At its height, Hopewell was operating in more than a dozen countries around the world and Wu was emboldened enough to promise US$100 million in funding for his alma mater. He has certainly been an instrumental figure in helping to improve the economic opportunities available to millions of people and to make a profit while doing so.

Sir Gordon graduated from Princeton University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering. Sir Gordon received Honorary Doctorate Degrees from Hong Kong Polytechnic University, University of Strathclyde UK and University of Edinburgh UK.

Sir Gordon’s awards and honours include: Gold Bauhinia Star by HKSAR (2004); Leader of the Year in the Business/Finance category by the Sing Tao Daily/The Standard (2003); Knight Commander of the Order of St. Michael and St. George for Services to British Exports by the Queen of England (1997); Industry All-Star by Independent Energy USA (1996); and International CEO of the Year by George Washington University (1996).

Sir personifies the driving ambition behind East Asia’s rapid economic rise in the latter part of the 20th century and is a major force in Asian infrastructure. He is lauded as a visionary and a builder of power plants and superhighways that he is known by the media as “Asia’s Mr. Fix-It”. Also, dubbed as “the man who turned the lights on “ by former Philippines President Fidel Ramos.

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