Chinese granted Knight of the Order of the Lion of Finland

Key persons of two successful Finnish companies in China, Ms. Xue Ruixia, Managing Director of Marja Kurki China Operations, and Ms. Yuan Xiaoyu, Head of Public and Government Affairs of UPM in China, has been granted the Knight of the Order of the Lion of Finland for their contributions to the Finnish-Chinese relations.


The two received the honours in an event hosted by Ambassador Marja Rislakki at her residence on 30th of November, 2015.

The President of the Republic of Finland decides on this decoration in his capacity as the Grand Master of the Order of the Lion of Finland.

Although Marja Kurki and UPM represent very different sectors, they have also much in common: their products reflect the Finnish brand and know how – Marja Kurki representing Finnish design and UPM Finnish forestry and clean tech expertise.

Both Ms. Xue and Ms. Yuan have brought together Chinese and Finnish key players, and thereby reinforced the good trade relations between the countries. They both have also been active players in promoting the Finland brand, including in national projects like Finland at Shanghai World Expo and Pure Finland in Beijing.

Ms. Xue and Ms. Yuan have also engaged actively in the work of the Finnish Business Council in Beijing, sharing their knowledge about China with other Finnish actors. This helping hand has supported many other new companies to enter Chinese market.

Ms. Xue’s career at Marja Kurki dates back already to the beginning of 1990’s. Working as a managing director of Marja Kurki’s China operations, she had a key role in establishing Marja Kurki’s operations in China in 1994. With her profound knowledge about the China market the company has grown from a small office in China to having an extensive sales network around the country today.

Ms. Yuan has been working for UPM already for 15 years. Her role in establishing and nurturing good public relations, both at the local and national level in China has been an important part of UPM’s success story in China. During these years, UPM has been taking a new direction to strengthening its role as a Biofore company. UPM is an excellent example of the Finnish clean tech know-how: how a traditionally very energy intensive industry has managed to transform into a clean tech pioneer.

About Joakim Persson

Freelance business and lifestyle photojournalist

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