The honour was awarded on behalf of King Albert II by the Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Karel De Gucht, in recognition of Dr Chang’s achievements in international transportation and trade. Very few non-Belgian individuals have been so recognised.
Evergreen’s links with Belgium date back almost 30 years. When the shipping line launched its first service to northern Europe, Antwerp was a key port on the schedule. Today it includes two Belgian ports on its schedules, Antwerp and Zeebrugge. The Evergreen Group airline, EVA Air, also serves Belgium, having commenced a freighter service linking Brussels with Asia in 1997.
In recent years, Dr Chang has been awarded several prestigious honours by European governments and educational establishments, among them Officer of the Legion of Honour (France, 2002), Commander of the British Empire (UK, 2006) and Knight of the Grand Cross (Italy, 2007).