Lunar New Year Gala: Mayor Michael Bell to Share Chinese Story

Journalists have been following the work of the City of Toledo lately. They were particularly interested in the work of former Mayor Michael Bell. During his term he courted hundreds of Chinese investors, which so far has amounted in more than $10 million in investment. An elected official like Mr. Bell deserves to share his story. And he’ll be doing just that on Jan. 31 at the 2014 Lunar New Year Gala.

According to news archives, Forbes broke the story, on a large scale, back in the summer of 2013. Click here to see the article. Here’s a good quote:

“We have found the people to Toledo to be supportive and welcoming,” says Tina Yuan, of Dashing Pacific Group Ltd., a group of Chinese investors who paid $3.8 million for the Marina District property in 2011. “Mayor Bell gave us our first impression of Toledo — open, friend, ready to grow.”

Toledo is ready to grow. Is Cincinnati?

Then, the New York Times, CNBC, NPR and the South China Morning Post (a Hong Kong newspaper) started doing their own reports. They came out in late December. With news organizations of that size writing about the story, it is pretty apparent that Chinese investment can make for a big story. Cincinnati should be next.

Nevertheless, Moraine was next. Last week, Governor John Kasich announced the arrival of a $250 million investment by a automotive glass manufacturer called Fuyao in the city. Fuyao will take up a large portion of the GM plant that closed there in 2008. They are expected to bring 800 jobs with them. That’s economic development, Ohio.

So, the chamber’s goal is to bring some of that investment — whose pool is only growing larger — to the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area. Nevertheless, it’s obvious that this task cannot be done without the help of local governments, especially mayors. The Chinese chamber is poised to make it happen. Is Cincinnati?

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