Gilbert van Kerckhove

Updated: 2013-09-29

Gilbert van Kerckhove

A consultant on Beijing's urban construction

2005 Friendship Award winner

Van Kerckhove calls himself a "lobbyist" for Beijing and a "bridge" between the Chinese administration and foreign businesses for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

"Beijing is my second home. If I go back to my hometown in Belgium, it now feels like a village. It's never boring in China, and I wouldn't know what to do in other countries," he says.

As the only foreigner among the committee members of the Specialist Working Group for the Beijing 12th Five Year Plan, van Kerckhove has used his position to counsel improvements to the city's urban traffic and environment, "because you feel part of this country somehow, and you'd like to contribute".

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