SACRAMENTO - Moving to increase direct investment in California and give the state's businesses a distinct advantage in China, Gov. Jerry Brown last week announced plans to open a new trade and investment office in China."The Pacific Rim has become the center of the world economy, presenting California with countless opportunities to grow alongside our neighbors across the ocean," said Governor Brown, after meeting with Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping in Los Angeles. "The office will encourage direct investment and further strengthen the existing ties between the world's second- and ninth-largest economies." The California-China Trade and Investment Office will provide California companies with increased access to Chinese business contacts and provide Chinese investors with access to California projects that will benefit from increased investment. Financing for the office will be provided by partners in the private sector through the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz). In addition to developing these financial partnerships, GO-Biz will work with the Chinese government to facilitate the opening of the office. China is the world's largest exporter of goods and third largest importer, ranking closely behind the United States and the European Union. The vast majority of China's exports to the U.S. go through California ports. California exported $12.4 billion in goods and services to China in 2010. In addition, China invested $1.5 billion in California projects in 2011, or 10 percent of all Chinese investment in the U.S. Vice President Xi visited California to discuss trade and investment opportunities with Governor Brown and Vice President Joe Biden. The Los Angeles visit was Vice President Xi's last stop in a four day tour of the U.S. The State of California has not had a formal presence in China since the previous foreign trade offices were closed in 2003. The new trade and investment offices are slated to open in Shanghai and Beijing. Several recent economic plans drafted by governmental and private entities, including a report by Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, have recommended that the state expand its overseas presence to facilitate investment and trade growth during the current economic recovery.
********** Published: February 23, 2012 - Volume 10 - Issue 45