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LA Mayor on Asian Trade Mission
Dec '11
City of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa leads a delegation of local and national business leaders, along with executives from the Port of Los Angeles, Los Angeles World Airports and LA Inc. on a trade mission to China, Japan, and South Korea. The delegation is currently traveling to LA's three largest trading partners till December 14, 2011. Asia is home to eight of LA's top 10 trade partners accounting for over $250 billion in two-way trade and hundreds of thousands of direct and indirect jobs.

“The future of Los Angeles is tied closely to our neighbors in the Pacific Rim. As we strengthen and rebuild our local economy we must leverage our assets in this global marketplace to create jobs here in Los Angeles,” said Mayor Villaraigosa. “Since our 2006 trade mission, we have worked to develop strong economic ties with Asia. This year we will continue to strengthen important relationships, while working to increase investment, trade and tourism in LA.”

During the 2006 LA trade mission to Asia, the Administration signed $300 million in investment agreements and expanded tourism. Earlier this year, Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer BYD opened its North American headquarters in Los Angeles. Based in Shenzhen, China, BYD topped the Businessweek Technology 100 list and was ranked the 8th most innovative company in the world. BYD's newly renovated facility, located along the Figueroa Corridor in the Downtown Auto District, will bring hundreds of engineering, management and indirect jobs to Los Angeles. BYD's presence is a significant boost to the Administration's effort to expand the City's clean tech sector.

Also earlier this year, one of China's largest communications companies, China Telecom, opened a second Internet Data Center (IDC) in Los Angeles. This will be only its second center on the West Coast. The IDC will allow businesses in California and China to communicate more efficiently. China Telecom forecasts over $100 million of economic development in the region from the IDC.

This year, the Administration will announce agreements to expand investment and trade with Hyundai, Wet, IKONIC, AECOM and Forever 21. The delegation will promote expanded tourism to Los Angeles at a series of events in all three countries.

LA-based Forever 21 will re-enter the Chinese market by opening three new Forever 21 retail stores. Forever 21 will be the only North American company to compete in China in the fast-fashion sector with the likes of H&M & Zara.

Throughout the trip, the delegation will meet with several key government leaders including China's Vice Premier Wang Qishan, Vice President Xi Jinping, Chongqing Part Secretary Bo Xilai, Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng, Sendai Mayor Emiko Okuyama, and Seoul Mayor Park Won Soon.

While in Japan, the delegation will meet with disaster preparedness experts to share best practices with key experts.

City of Los Angeles

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