Downtown

Chinese province wants to rebrand, Brooklyn style

BP Eric Adams shares the secret sauce

November 15, 2016 By Mary Frost Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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Roughly 20 representatives from China’s Guizhou Province met with Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams on Monday to learn how Brooklyn created its world-recognized brand.

The province hopes that developing brand recognition, Brooklyn style, will draw more tourist dollars and attract investment.

“We want to learn from you how you did it,” the delegates, speaking through a translator, told Adams, seated at the head of a long table in the Borough Hall conference room.

Guizhou, home to roughly 35 million people in southwestern China, is an economically undeveloped province, but is rich in minerals and other natural resources and has a strong agricultural base, according to the Hong Kong Trade Development Council.

Like Brooklyn, Guizhou is demographically diverse, with more than half of the province set aside for ethnic minorities. And like Brooklyn, Guizhou is already popular with tourists. The delegates want to build on this foundation.

“We started with a good product,” Adams told them, speaking slowly for the translator. “Many of our famous people in America had their childhood roots in Brooklyn.”

Some members of the Chinese delegation nodded their heads in recognition when Adams mentioned singer Barbra Streisand, who grew up in Brooklyn.

They seemed a bit confused, however, when Adams told them that Jackie Gleason’s (fictitious) bus garage was also located here.

Adams listed several ways Guizhou could build up its brand recognition.

“Number one, focus on artists,” he told the visitors, who diligently wrote his suggestion in their notepads.

“If you are near the water, focus on the waterfront,” he continued. “People enjoy water views and being near the water.”

Also, “focus on good food,” he said. “People like to have a good place to eat and to relax.”

According to China Today, the province’s specialties include braised salamander, Eight Delicacies, Feast of Tianmahan Chicken and Love Bean Curd Fruit.

“We eat spicy food,” one delegate told Adams as others laughed and nodded.

Adams also encouraged the province to take advantage of the area’s different cultures.

“I notice that you stated that there are many ethnic groups in your province,” he said. “Use those different groups as a way to highlight why one should come to your province. Tourists like sampling different ethnic foods, music, sound, clothing, lifestyle.”

Brooklyn is home to one of the largest overseas Chinese populations outside of China, and Adams has established sister city agreements with the Chaoyang district of Beijing and Yiwu.

See a snippet from the BP’s conversation with the delegation, above.


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