Editor Courtney Fingar presented him with his award in front of more than 100 guests, including members of the Korean parliament, representatives of several chambers of commerce, key foreign investors and the British ambassador to Korea, among others.

Mr Lee was named the global winner as well as the regional winner for Asia. Accepting his award, he said: “I couldn’t be more honoured to be given the fDi Personality of the Year award, especially since the same award was given to President Vicente Fox of Mexico in 2003 and President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil in 2004.


“I would like to share this honour with the 10 million citizens of Seoul and the staff at Seoul Metropolitan Government, without which none of the achievements made in Seoul would have been possible.”

At a time when the mayor is engaged in a diligent drive to make Korea’s capital city a better place to live and do business, he said the nod from fDi “feels like a warm pat on the shoulder, encouraging us in Seoul to keep up the good work”.

Two days after the Seoul event, representatives of the winners for the other regional categories – Africa, Europe, Middle East, Latin America and North America – collected awards on their behalf at the World Investment Forum in London.





The mayor of Seoul shows off his two awards, one for the Asia regional category and the other for the global title





Members of the Korean parliament celebrate the awards with Lee Myung-bak and his wife as well as Courtney Fingar




Special adviser Tahir Salie accepts the award for Africa on behalf of Ebrahim Rasool, premier of South Africa’s Western Cape




Deputy mayor Detlef Schubert steps in for Leipzig mayor Wolfgang Tiefensee, who was named the winner for Europe as well as the global runner-up




Park Kyung-Bae, counsellor of public administration at the Korean embassy in London, passes on some comments from Mr Lee to delegates at the World Investment Forum in London



Sylvia Ugalde, chargé d’affaires at the Costa Rican embassy in London, accepts the Latin America award on behalf of Eduardo Lizano, former governor of Costa Rica’s central bank



Ayhan Yzmirli, deputy general manager of ESBAS, the development and operating company for the Aegean Free Zone in Turkey, collects the Middle East award on behalf of the free zone’s founder Kaya Tuncer



Matt Erskine, Virginia’s deputy secretary of commerce and trade, outlines the FDI achievements of governor Mark Warner after picking up the North America award for him