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Posts Tagged ‘harbin

[URBAN NOTE] Five city links: Montréal, Tromsø, Marseilles, Brampton, Harbin

  • The different proposals for the future of McGill College Avenue in Montréal sound very interesting. Global News reports.
  • Ozy reports on how Tromsø, largest city in Arctic Norway, has found new energy thanks to tourism.
  • Roads and Kingdoms has some tips for visitors to the French Mediterranean city of Marseilles.
  • Sean Marshall examines the question of why property taxes in the Ontario city of Brampton are so high. Can anything be done about them?
  • Guardian Cities notes how the northeastern Chinese city of Harbin, like much of China’s old rest belt, is facing stagnant economic growth.

[LINK] “China’s Harbin City courts Jews once again”

At Canadian Jewish News, Ng Weng Hoong writes about the interest of at least some Chinese in a revival of the Jewish commnunity in the northeastern metropolis of Harbin.

When Chinese tour guide Eric Liu found out that Jews were fleeing Paris and other European cities to escape their worsening anti-Semitic environment, he asked if they might want to “return” to his city of Harbin, once among the most vibrant and important Jewish centres in the Far East.

“We welcome them. They are smart, educated and hard-working, and will be a very positive influence for the city,” he said as he recounted the role of Jewish businessmen, musicians, writers, bankers and engineers in making this northeastern Chinese city one of the country’s most prosperous early last century.

[. . .]

China has been quietly growing trade and investment with Israel and Jewish businesses. From about $2.6 billion (US) in 2005, Israel’s bilateral trade with China had grown to $15.59 billion in 2013, just slightly below the $16.3 billion worth of business conducted with the United States.

Given recent growth rates, China could soon overtake the United States as Israel’s largest trading partner, said Ophir Gore, the head of trade mission at the Israeli embassy in Beijing. With China hungry for Israeli water expertise, information technology and farming know-how, the government of Israel has set a target to double its exports to the Asian nation over the next five years.

As if catching up with its own past, Harbin is eager to attract a new wave of Jewish businesses and settlers to replicate the success that the earlier legendary generation had brought. Mayor Song Xibin is leading a delegation to Israel this month to invite Israeli investors to his hometown.

Written by Randy McDonald

February 21, 2015 at 2:04 am