Byline: ROBERT JONES
JOHN REES, the Welsh Development Agency's manager in France, was awarded the L'Ordre National du Merite by French Ambassador Daniel Bernard, at a ceremony yesterday at City Hall, Cardiff.
The award, for work in promoting Franco-Welsh economic relations, presented in the name of President Jacques Chirac, is a mark of honour rarely presented to people outside of France.
At 38 Mr Rees John is one of the youngest recipients.
Mr Rees accepted the honour on behalf of the agency, and said it reflected the high esteem with which the WDA was held in France where it is regarded as the leading economic development agency.
"This award acknowledges the excellent working relationship that has developed at the highest level within the business community and government circles in France, " Mr Rees said.
"Some 18 months ago it was decided to set up a regular visit to Wales by staff at the Poste d' Expansion Economique. Since then we have had quarterly visits to ensure that the economic team at the embassy was fully abreast of all the impressive developments in Wales, particularly in the high technology sectors. …