OPINION: Humboldt must know what it wants in relationship

If you want investment from China, you have to go there to build the relationships first.

When it comes to courting business investment from East Asian countries, the culture there dictates that you must have a personal relationship with the people you want to do business with first before you can do business.

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In many ways, it’s almost the opposite of how business is done in western countries, where you form a business relationship first and a personal relationship later (though even still, having a personal relationship beforehand helps).

That’s why mayor Rob Muench’s trip to Hangzhou, China was so useful to the City of Humboldt. It was a chance for the city to start forming those personal relationships that can be built into business investment.

Yet as the relationship between Humboldt and Hangzhou develops, it’s important for Humboldt to know exactly what it wants from it.

International linkages work best when there’s a specific focus that both parties want to achieve. For example, a partnership between a town in Saskatchewan and a town in Norway could benefit by exchanging knowledge on how to more effectively plow the roads.

What we don’t want is to have delegations spend the time, money and effort to travel across the Pacific Ocean to sign an Humboldt-Hangzhou agreement and then have no action taken after the ink is dry.

I think it’s good the city is looking at starting a process with the Humboldt Chamber of Commerce to determine just what kind of investment Humboldt will need to grow in the future. That process could be the start of deciding what we want to see from the relationship.


First game memorial

I think some big kudos has to go out to the Humboldt Broncos organization for all of the efforts that went into remembering those lost in the April 6 collision.

Producing a tasteful memorial is something that’s not easy in the best of times, so I can’t imagine how much work had to be done to prepare everything for a national television audience.

I’m hoping the memorial is something that helps with the healing process as the Broncos put all their focus in competing in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.

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