Fostering a Shanghai connection:
As the demands of the global village increases, the cultural visit has now been replaced by economic exchanges in an attempt to encourage co-operation across a wide range of development issues. Lambeth as a progressive London Borough south of the river is more than ready to receive visitors and with the advantage of wearing our recently refurbished ceremonial chains of office, dated 1847; we were especially pleased to welcome a delegation from the People’s Republic of China arranged by Sino-UK Link with the emphasis still very much within the remit of culture.
In this capacity, the Mayor of Lambeth was able to play welcoming host to a group of trade officials from Jiading, an international northwest gateway that is now Shanghai and regarded as a first base in accelerating economic growth and development technology.
Although the visit allowed for little more than an exchange of gifts and words of greeting from translators; before the group moved on for more structured presentations and detailed discussion, there was a serious learning point that needs to be recorded. As an authority; we can influence even our most determined critics and hold our nerve against the toughest of negotiators, when presenting ourselves as local council who successfully did it the hard way; moving from the low base of disappointment through to changing entrenched opinions using self-belief and shared aspirations that are now a reality from which others may learn and benefit.