I'm afraid not, Jey. If he wants to cultivate a relationship with IMG, it means there is no real relationship at this time.

If he wants to make a relationship with IMG stronger, it means there already is a relationship, just not as strong a relationship as the boss would like.
They would work, IMO, in this modified form:

He hopes to cultivate his relationship with IMG.

He wants to make his relationship with IMG stronger.

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cultivate

3 : to cause to grow by special attention or by studying, advancing, developing, practicing, or publicizing : FURTHER, ENCOURAGE

Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged
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quote:
He hopes to cultivate a relationship with IMG.

This sentence -- with a relationship -- can't mean 'to improve the relationship' because there isn't any relationship yet, as Richard points out. It means to start a beneficial relationship.

If the determiner is different and specific -- using the or his, for example -- then we know that the relationship has already begun and that the speaker wants to improve this relationship.

So, the original sentence can't be changed to mean 'to improve the relationship,' but if the sentence is changed to include 'cultivate his relationship -- as Jerry writes -- then there is different meaning: that the speaker wants to improve the existing relationship.

This is an important difference.

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