Mission to Shanghai 2010

By Melissa Rubin and Chantal Gloor….
Shanghai, through the eyes of Miami Beach Chamber’s President & CEO, Jerry Libbin, was none other than extraordinary. The goal of the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce is to promote positive business relations with Chamber members and to explore the options the world has to offer.

A delegation of twenty-three Miami Beach residents left the sunshine state on a journey en route for the luminous skyline of Shanghai, to seize cultural and business exchange. The itinerary included VIP access to the 2010 World Expo including the pavilions of Germany, Mexico, Israel, China, ‘Unpack London’, and the U.S.A., all of which promoted the Expo’s theme of “Better City, Better Life.” The World Expo was completed in May of 2010 to last until October 31st, which attracted over 70 million visitors. Each country’s pavilion showcased their cultural background, business relationship with China, and each country’s efforts to become more environmentally friendly through education and innovative technology.

Along with the two day tours of the World Expo, exclusive meetings were set with the Port of Shanghai; a day trip was organized to the “Venice of China” a town called Zhujiajoa, an hour and a half outside of Shanghai; city tours of the historic districts of Shanghai with renowned Tess Johnston were organized by Jerry Libbin along with positive meetings with Travel and Leisure Magazine. The delegation was treated to exclusive conferences and tours that are not normally easily accessible.

The Chamber’s dedication to promoting business with China and Jerry Libbin’s persistent effort and relationships provided the delegation with a culturally rich experience. With tourism on the rise in China, the possibilities for Miami Beach businesses are endless. And vice versa, studies have shown that by the year 2020, 100 million Chinese tourists will come to the United States, and what better to place to visit than Miami Beach! The delegation scheduled strategic meetings with Chinese businesses in order to appeal to Miami businesses and ensure that these individuals will be part of the 100 million tourists. A welcome dinner was arranged by Jerry Libbin with Executive Vice President, Wang Xiaoshu, of the Shanghai People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries in order to further strengthen relations with this important organization.

Of course, all work and no play would not be a fair assessment of the trip. The delegation was fortunate to explore the city thoroughly with an extensive tour of the Shanghai Jewish historic area, Art Deco District, and Buddhist Temples where rubbing the Jade Buddha’s belly for prosperity was a must! Along with plenty of art galleries, a visit to the Shanghai museums, night time boat rides on the Huangpu River, and walking along the Bund and fashion district of Xian Tian Di.

The most useful Mandarin phrase used was “Xie Xie,” which means “Thank You,” for the delegation was thankful to be welcomed by such a vibrant and globally renowned city. Shanghai is a magical city, and through the opportunity with the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce, a lifetime full of memories.

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