Chinese delegates consider Toledo as convention location - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Chinese delegates consider Toledo as convention location

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The city of Toledo is once again hosting a group of delegates from China.

13 ABC's Christine Long reports how this group is looking to invest in the Glass City.

The Chinese delegation is considering holding a big convention in Toledo. It would be a Hi-Tech Fair for businesses in 2014.

From the Huntington Center Arena to the Toledo Walleye locker room, more than a dozen delegates from the China Hi-Tech Fair walk with a purpose.

The group's annual trade show in Shenzhen attracts as many as 500,000 visitors.

The delegates are now looking to branch out across the world.  Toledo is the only location being considered in North America for a business fair next year.

"I think it's very rare for a city of our size. You talk about Las Vegas and Chicago and Orlando that do huge convention business all the time," says Steve Miller, General Manager of the Seagate Convention Centre and the Huntington Center.

"It would be good for the hotels and good for downtown," says Paul Zito, Vice President of International Development for Regional Growth Partnership.

Zito says the Glass City is being singled out because of Mayor Mike Bell building a relationship with the delegates on his several trips to China.

Chinese investors bought the Marina District on the east side of the Maumee River, as well as the Park Inn.

City leaders rolled out the red carpet on Thursday to show the delegates Toledo's greatest assets, including the Toledo Museum of Art and the University of Toledo campus.

They hope this trip translates into more Chinese investment in Toledo.

"An overseas trade show for an existing trade show will always start small," says Zito. "So if it starts with a couple of dozen companies in a year, that's great."

"Anytime we can put Toledo on an international stage is great," says Toledo City Councilman Rob Ludeman.

"This is really a big deal for us," says Miller. "We're really excited to have them . We're hoping to close the deal and have something put together real soon."

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