Harp To Pitch Businesses On China Trip

Contributed PhotoNew Haven is on the hunt for new employers — in China.

A delegation led by Mayor Toni Harp plans to make three major stops in that nation next month to pop in on companies planning to expand in the U.S. with a pitch to land in New Haven.

The ten-day trip begins April 5. The main order of business will be to complete the final task in making official a new “sister city” relationship between New Haven and Changsha, the capital of Hunan province with more than seven million people.  (Read more about that here and here.) Harp has broadened the trip’s mission to include stops in Beijing and Hong Kong. Her administration has hired a consultant to identify “four to five” businesses in the three cities that are considering a move to the U.S. East Coast and are open to discussing it with the New Haven delegation.

Allan Appel Photo“We want ... to see if we can get them to come to New Haven or Greater New Haven,” Harp said on the latest edition of WNHH FM’s “Mayor Monday” program. She said she’s defining the New Haven region as extending from Bridgeport up through Madison.

She emphasized the importance of cities working together across international borders, not just for business but also for cultural and educational reasons. Especially at a time when the Trump administration is pulling back from international trade and cooperation.

“The world is a lot smaller. As human beings, we have got to find a way to work with one another, live together as a species, and keep ourselves going,” Harp said.

City culture and tourism czar Andy Wolf started the official process of establishing the sister-city relationship on Oct. 16, 2006, with a trip to Changsha. A delegation from Changsha then visited New Haven last June to sign documents. Next month’s New Haven delegation trip to Changsha is the final required step. (Mayors of the two cities need to be present in the same location at the same time.)

In addition to Harp, the New Haven delegation is to include Wolf, Board of Alders President Tyisha Walker, and Albertus Magnus College President Marc Camille, among others.

Changsha and New Haven have committed to cooperate on education, health care, trade, science, culture, and tourism exchanges “to promote common prosperity and development.” They also committed to “regular contacts” between their leaders and to mutual visits by business or government delegations.

In a separate interview on WNHH’s “Dateline New Haven” program, Wolf spoke of establishing online chat rooms between students at Changsha and New Haven high schools; between students at the two cities’ universities; and between seniors in facilities like New Haven’s senior centers and Tower One/Tower East.

Contributed PhotoWolf acknowledged that because of censorship, those online relationships probably wouldn’t include talk of politics. But they could lead to mutual visits, ideas for entrepreneurial start-ups, and overall greater understanding.

New Haven has longstanding ties to Changsha. The Yale-China Association (previously known as “Yale in China”) founded a nursing school and high school (called “Yali”) in Changsha 110 years ago. The institutions have weathered World War II, the Korean War, and the Cultural Revolution, and have grown and prospered.

Changsha’s “Yali” is actually a network of prep schools on ten campuses with a total of 16,000 students, Wolf said.

He was impressed by what he saw in his previous visit to Changsha.

“You’ve never seen anything until you’ve seen a musical recitation with 1,100 violins,” he said.

New Haven’s other sister cities include Amalfi, Italy; Freetown, Sierra Leone; Leon, Nicaragua; Avignon, France; Afula-Gilboa, Israel; Hue, Vietnam; and San Francisco Tetlanohcan, Tlaxcala, Mexico.

Click on or download the above audio file or the Facebook Live video below to hear the full episode of WNHH FM’s “Mayor Monday” program, which also touched on neighborhood management teams, state support for cities, the city GOP, the future of Stop & Shop on Whalley, renovated senior centers, and the proposal to rename Strong School after Barack Obama.

Click on the above audio file or the Facebook Live video below to hear an interview with Andy Wolf about the upcoming Changsha trip and sister-city relationship (among other subjects) on WNHH’s “Dateline New Haven” program.

This episode of “Mayor Monday” was made possible with the support of Gateway Community College and Berchem Moses P.C.

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posted by: Noteworthy on March 16, 2018  1:54pm

Lol…we can’t pay our bills and we’re making tourist trips to China. Good lord.

posted by: jim1 on March 16, 2018  3:33pm

I would love to go to China.  Will this raise our taxes or is the 11% going to cover it.
If not the 15 cent deposit on nips will…...............

posted by: strangefruit on March 16, 2018  3:39pm

So… New Haven will send a min 5 people to China. Will she be flying Business ($4000) or Economy ($700) how about the others. Now let’s add in the per diems. This is one expensive trip and her security detail looks to profit a good bunch off this trip.

Maybe we should ask China for a loan.

posted by: wendy1 on March 16, 2018  5:16pm

I am beyond disgusted.

How would you like to have a slumlord who lives in China and is unapproachable to hear complaints or greivances.  A friend in NYC who is Chinese warned me that Chinese were interested in purchasing properties in New Haven CT to rent out to the poor and under represented, namely Section 8’ers so they, the Chinese landlords could rake in the dough paid for by the Fed to house these downtrodden folks who have few advocating for them.

These political hacks are as evil and greedy as the mafia.

posted by: Elmer Shady on March 17, 2018  2:23am

The Mayor’s Job is to take care of New Haven Citizens.  That is her charge.

This is the ultimate insult to taxpaying citizens. 
Send Bruce Alexander to pitch this mess—it’s for the Asian Students at Yale anyway….

Disgusting on so many levels…

RECALL RECALL RECALL

posted by: Noteworthy on March 17, 2018  6:54am

Is the body guard going? The mayor should share the $30 million tax hike demand and the million dollar car tax increase as selling points.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on March 17, 2018  11:16am

Again.Snake-Oil and Three Card Monte being sold.The real deal is this.The Chinese are buying all the real estate in New York city with cash.This will be the same move here In New Haven.Also a friend of mine son who drive for Uber told me he picks up a lot of Chinese student that go to Yale.He told me that they told him that recently built dormitory on ELM ST. is for them.He told me China pays for them to go to Yale and puts money into Yale.Like I said before.If you want to know what is going on to New Haven Read this book By my two friends.

City for Sale: Ed Koch and the Betrayal of New York (1989) by Wayne Barrett and Jack Newfield

“Today’s reformer is tomorrow’s hack,” Brooklyn boss Meade Esposito used to say.

Esposito had a special knack for making this motto a self-fulfilling prophesy. Surely one of his greatest triumphs was the sell-out he and other New York City machine bosses orchestrated around Ed Koch. When he was elected mayor in 1977

http://www.nationinstitute.org/featuredwork/books/1287/city_for_sale:_ed_koch_and_the_betrayal_of_new_york/

posted by: Colin Ryan on March 19, 2018  7:46am

It would be great to read a followup article on this that identifies a) the actual businesses our delegation is trying to bring to New Haven during this trip and b) what concrete outcomes have come from our 7 other sister city relationships. Without that info the natural reaction is going be to view this as unnecessary spending.

posted by: JCFremont on March 19, 2018  9:46am

Why not try Skype? I agree with Colin, I’d like to see what New Haven gets from this trip will cost and what the city gets besides more graduate and post doc students. While we are at it, What benefits has New Haven enjoyed from the Sister City program? And what have we sent out? Is it racist and sexist that I call the mayors “Optics” as bad as the presidents? To 3/5ths I have read “City for Sale.” Have you read “Fear City” a recent book on the budget crisis before Koch, a city when everybody was enjoying a free lunch.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on March 19, 2018  4:13pm

posted by: JCFremont on March 19, 2018 9:46am

To 3/5ths I have read “City for Sale.” Have you read “Fear City” a recent book on the budget crisis before Koch, a city when everybody was enjoying a free lunch.


Yes I have.The book was by Kim Phillips-Fein.This happen under Mayor Abraham Beame.Do you think New haven is heading in the same direction.I do.

posted by: Thomas Alfred Paine on March 19, 2018  9:28pm

It might be impressive to some for New Haven to have sister city relationships all over the world, but what is their real value and benefit to our city’s economy?
When New Haven faces severe deficits, when there is a proposed 11% tax increase and education cuts that may result in closing schools and cutting personnel, when there is is a need for additional security guards, guidance counselors, paraprofessionals and school nurses, how can we justify spending one dime of taxpayer money on this venture to China and a consultant to boot?
If China is paying for this trip for the mayor and her entourage, no problem.
If the taxpayers are paying, it is a problem.
We need to focus on New Haven, and not a questionable venture to get Chinese investments in New Haven, or the region between Bridgeport and Madison. (Are all those other cities and towns contributing to this trip?)
If this plan to go to China happens with city funds, the people have a right to full disclosure. Who are the “among others” who will accompany the mayor? We want to know the names of all the travelers to China and the total taxpayer expense for this risky venture.
Freedom of information is so important to a transparent government.
I hate it when other people gamble with my money, especially when my people have serious needs at home.
Charity begins at home.
“Nothing could be finer
Than to see the folks in China
Save New Haven.”
But don’t count on it.
I vote NO to Toni Harp’s China venture.
If we can’t fully fund our schools, we can’t afford to fund this ten day overseas Asian trip.

posted by: HewNaven on March 20, 2018  12:09pm

I am beyond disgusted.

How would you like to have a slumlord who lives in China and is unapproachable to hear complaints or greivances.  A friend in NYC who is Chinese warned me that Chinese were interested in purchasing properties in New Haven CT to rent out to the poor and under represented, namely Section 8’ers so they, the Chinese landlords could rake in the dough paid for by the Fed to house these downtrodden folks who have few advocating for them.

American property managers have been profiting from needy “Section 8” tenants for a long time. Why is it all of a sudden “disgusting” now that other nationalities want to get in on the action? It’s always been gross!