Chinese delegates visit Toledo for possible tech fair - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Chinese delegates visit Toledo for possible tech fair

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TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -

Representatives from the China Hi-Tech Fair, the country's largest scientific and technology trade show, visited northwest Ohio Thursday to consider hosting a similar event in Toledo in 2014.

According to the representatives, Toledo is the only location in North America being considered at this time. Delegates from the fair discussed plans at a press conference Thursday morning at the SeaGate Convention Centre.

"It is an honor to have the China Hi-Tech Fair explore the possibility of holding the first U.S. edition in Toledo," said Paul Zito, vice president of international development at the Regional Growth Partnership.

Recognized as the number one technology show in China, the fair attracts around 3,000 exhibitors from 50 countries at the annual show in Shenzhen, China. It typically draws more than 500,000 visitors. The fair is looking to establish shows outside China and has already held events in Israel, Hungary and Belgium.

Delegates from the fair started the day by meeting with Toledo Mayor Mike Bell, where they signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the city to promote cooperation and business exchanges, plus the sharing of resources and talents.

Simon Guo, of the local 5 Lakes Global Group, said the fair's interest in Toledo stemmed from the region's proactive efforts over the last couple years in reaching out and establishing new relationships with China. Guo says Bell met with fair organizers in Shenzhen last year and invited them to create a North American version of the event in the Glass City.

"A Toledo delegation met with Hi-Tech Fair officials last year, and we got their attention, enough so to get them to come to Toledo," said Guo. "If Toledo is able to land this tech show in 2014, it could serve as a vehicle to build many new business relationships between the two cities."

In addition to investigating the potential of hosting a tech fair in Toledo, the organizing committee also hopes to strengthen relationships with local entities and explore new partnerships.

"The committee wants to find a geographical location where it has access to U.S. markets," said Guo. "I think they understand that the Toledo/northwest Ohio region is centrally located, offers outstanding logistics, and brings forth an educated and trained workforce."

The press conference also included remarks from former Missouri Gov. Bob Holden, who now serves as chairman of the Midwest-U.S. China Association. The afternoon session included visits to the Toledo Museum of Art, Glass Pavilion and University of Toledo.

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