Hyundai Group Chairwoman Hyun Jeong-eun was awarded with a Grand Cross of Rio Branco by the Brazilian government in appreciation of her effort to expand economic ties between Korea and Brazil.
On September 6, Edmundo Fujita, the Brazilian Ambassador to Korea, bestowed the award to Hyun at Lotte Hotel during an event held in celebration of Brazil’s Independence Day.
The Order of Rio Branco was created in 1963 in commemoration of the renowned politician and diplomat Rio Branco. The Order has been given to foreigners who greatly contributed to Brazil’s political, diplomatic, and economic advancement.
In her acceptance speech, Hyun said “For me, Brazil has been the country of samba, soccer, coffee, and the Amazon. But from now on, it will always remind me of the word ‘amigo.’ I hope that our friendship with Brazil will last long.”
In 2011, Hyun was appointed as honorary ambassador to Brazil in April. Hyundai Group signed an MOU with the state of Rio Grande du Sul a month later in order to promote investment and expand ties between the two sides.
Hyun is one of the most prominent woman CEOs in Korea. She studied sociology at Ewha Womans University and graduated in 1976. Since she joined Hyundai Group as CEO in 2003, she has done a great job for the last ten years. She was the only Korean to have made it to 2011 Financial Times’ ‘Top 50 Women in World Business’ list. In 2010, she was profiled in Trade Winds, the world’s biggest shipping news provider, as the 18th most influential person in the world’s shipping industry. For two consecutive years in 2008 and 2009, Hyun was on Forbes’ ‘Most Powerful Women’ list. Also, in 2007, she was included in Wall Street Journal’s ‘50 Women to Watch.’