Toledo Mayor Mike Bell on Monday afternoon described his 11-day trip to China as a success but he stopped short of saying whether the effort attracted new jobs for Toledo or northwest Ohio.
"We believe in the future, it is going to pay off dividends for the city of Toledo, but we are not prepared to give any type of specifics," Mr. Bell said Monday afternoon at One Government Center, just after he landed back in the United States.
"It was a great trip, it was well worth the trip," the mayor said — still wearing the University of Toledo running suit and sneakers he slept in on the plane. "It is just an amazing level of growth over there and I believe that, with the economy of the various United States cities the way they are, we need to be reaching out globally to be able to change the direction of those cities."
Mr. Bell and Deputy Mayor of Operations Dean Monske - who accompanied the mayor back to the office Monday - embarked on the trip at the request of a delegation of Toledo-area businessmen.
The mayor noted that other Toledo-area businessmen have asked him to go overseas to places like India, which he has not ruled out.
"If I have the opportunity to do that, I will go," he said. "For me as a mayor I should be seeking out economic development anywhere in the globe and I will do that."
They landed in Hong Kong, traveled to Shenzhen, Shanghai, Ordos, Yulin and then Beijing before going back to Hong Kong for the flight home.