Here at ChinaEconomicsBlog we would willing talk for twice as long for a fifth of the cost. Is that still a little expensive? Maybe a 15th of the price. China is still a long way to go (think of the carbon footprint) and the speech would have to be carefully crafted.
Did the organisers get a good deal? Publicity like that could be very beneficial and they probably need to start selling real estate quick before that bubble begins to burst as well.
Blair Visits China, Collects $300,000 For Saying “Ni Hao” [The China Game]
Tony Blair passed through South China on a tour that lasted a reported three hours. Stopping at Guangda, a luxury real estate development, he gave a speech to a large group of government officials, bankers and various other bigwigs, and for his efforts the former British Prime Minister was paid a whopping $300,000 speaker’s fee. By comparison, Bill Clinton earned $250,000 for a thirty minute engagement in Shenzhen five years ago, and save-the-planet Al Gore earns $175,000 a pop.
There is little doubt that for years to come that real estate development in South China is going to be remembered as “that place where Blair spoke.” Like owning a Porsche, getting the chance to rub shoulders with former world leaders carries a deal of prestige. For those who paid Blair his fee, the money was not likely wasted. I don’t know how many millions the property project was worth before he turned up, but chances are that villas at the complex will be selling for a great deal more in the morning.
The FT report that the true figure was closer to $500,000 (£237,000) as a result of an extra little $175,000 in tax paid for by the Chinese hosts.
Blair paid $500,000 for 20-minute talk[FT]
Tony Blair has been paid more than $500,000 (£237,000) for a 20-minute speech in China, suggesting he has overtaken Bill Clinton to become the world’s most sought-after public speaker.
Dongguan Guangda, a local property developer, this week paid Mr Blair a post-tax speaking fee of $330,000 and paid another $175,000 in tax on his behalf, according to the Guangdong Provincial Tax Bureau.
Mr Blair’s lucrative speech to a group of about 600 Communist party officials, businessmen and investment bankers confirms he has shot into the super league of after-dinner speakers.