Indiana, Chicago pursue Chinese investmentWritten by Kristen Criswell | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Toledo isn’t the only place in the Midwest pursuing Chinese investment.
A new nonprofit, the America China Society of Indiana, aimed at promoting trade and investment between Indiana and China, was recently formed. The group is praised by Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard as being essential to creating jobs in the global economy.
On Jan. 20 and 21, Chinese President Hu Jinato made a visit to Chicago, and Mayor Richard Daley claimed he’d like Chicago to become the friendliest U.S. city to China.
“Here we are with this opportunity after this one trip with opportunities and interest. This puts us head and shoulders further out than some,” said Dean Monske, deputy mayor of external affairs for Toledo.
Monske said investment in The Docks and future investments from China could be a positive thing for the city if citizens allow it to be.
Monske said he’s embarrassed by some of the bigoted and racist comments that have appeared on news sites and blogs about the Chinese interest in The Docks. He said it’s been a knee-jerk reaction, but if people keep up with their negativity it could cost the city future investments.
“If we decide no, we don’t want Chinese investment as a community, then I’m sure Indianapolis, Chicago, Columbus or Cleveland will be happy to take those dollars, and Toledo will still be the same as it was 20 years ago
20 years from now,” he said.
Monske said those making the comments need to be more educated about the fact that the Chinese investors want exactly what we want. “To be successful and secure.” The city and the country won’t lose its identity if China invests in it, he said.
The City of Toledo has announced investors from China are interested in acquiring the property known as The Docks.
Dashing Pacific Group Ltd., an Ohio LLC established by the real estate investors from China, has offered the city $2.15 million for The Docks.
“When you talk about economic development and being able to turn Toledo around, you’ve got to have people who want to come to your city,” said Mayor Mike Bell during a press conference.
The mayor said the interest in the property is a direct result of relationships built during his administration’s trip to China.
If City Council approves the sale, this will be Dashing Pacific’s first investment in the United States, said Scott Prephan, a representative for the group.
“I feel, and the group feels, that this is just the start of what may prove to be a long-term relationship well beyond The Docks, which will be of great benefit to Toledo and the region as a whole,” he said.