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Quote of the Week: Trust essential in working with Chinese buyers
By Juwai, 21 January 2014
"Every mayor, every governor is traipsing off to China, but itâ€™s a middle person that is trusted on both sides that can make things happen quicker."
Dean Monske, Former Deputy Mayor of Toledo, Ohio
One man's trust has led to the resurrection of a struggling city in Ohio. Among the many American cities striving to attract and secure Chinese investments, the city of Toledo has made remarkable headway in forging close ties with China.
Over the past seven years, Chinese investors have invested over $10 million for two local hotels, a restaurant complex, a 69-acre waterfront property and a museum in Toledo.
How did this predominantly blue-collar city, which was hit so hard by the poor economy, manage to achieve this while other larger cities have tried in vain?
According to Toledo Mayor, Michael P. Bell, it all started with a friendship â€“ a person-to-person relationship that was carefully cultivated over months and years. It takes time to build personal trust and relationships with Chinese, and both Bell and former deputy mayor of Toledo, Dean Monske, quickly realised the importance of having a first-person connection.
That person was Simon Guo, whose contacts and "guanxi" (relationships) made him a middle person trusted on both sides, thus speeding up their relationship with Chinese investors and making it possible for Toledo to get to where it is today.
Read the full story on Toledo on The New York Times and on Next City.
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