Maximilian Josef Helmut Foerst


Maximilian Josef Helmut Foerst, along with three other foreign expats, received the 2017 Magnolia Award on Sept 6 in Pudong New Area, Shanghai, in recognition of their special contributions to economic and cultural industries in the district.

Foerst, of German nationality, was born in Hythe, Britain on June 23, 1968. He first came to Shanghai in 2009, and is now the president of Carl Zeiss (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. (Zeiss China).1.jpg

During Foerst’s work in Shanghai, he has had deep cooperation with many universities, including Tsinghua University, Tongji University, Donghua University, Shanghai University and Xi’an University of Technology, providing support for China’s vocational and technical education development and talent training.

Foerst has also provided services in doctor training and education, especially in ophthalmic medical technology. He donated to the “Lifeline Express”, a train hospital delivering philanthropic ophthalmic medical services. In addition, he has donated refractive surgery supplies and intraocular lens to 43 cataract treatment centers and taken part in the establishment of a non-profit foundation for eye care.

With his assistance advanced machine inspection technology was introduced into China from Germany, helping to promote Chinese Industrial development.

Foerst played a role in the construction of an Industry 4.0 laboratory, a facility of the Chinese-German University of Applied Science (CDHAW), an institute of Tongji University. lt combines Germany’s strategy of Industry 4.0 with China’s Made in China 2025 vision and has improved precision measurement techniques and the development of talents in both countries.

In 2010, Foerst was named as the outstanding entrepreneur of the Shanghai FTZ Bonded Area.

In 2013, he was honored as an influential person in the China machine tool industry when the Shanghai company was upgraded into the headquarters of Zeiss China.

In 2014, Foerst, as the representative of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, held discussions with Premier Li Keqiang about how Zeiss China could continue to be a driving force in China’s industrial upgrading. That same year he was awarded for being an outstanding contributor to Pudong’s taxation base.

The other three winners of the 2017 Magnolia Award were the General Manager of the Shanghai New International Expo Centre, Michael Kruppe, Professor of Literature at Beppu University, Nobuharu Arakane, and General Manager of the Business Development Department of IHI (Shanghai) Management Co, Koji Toda.