Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping Brings Delegation to Los Angeles
On February 16-17 2012, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa hosted a delegation led by Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping. The delegation met with government and business leaders in Los Angeles as part of a five-day tour of the United States. Mayor Villaraigosa and Vice President. Xi focused on increasing trade with China and creating jobs in Los Angeles, including a forum on fostering economic opportunities.
The trip was the first visit to Los Angeles by a Chinese dignitary in 13 years, and was a direct result of Mayor Villaraigosa’s trade mission to Asia in December 2011. The Mayor’s trade mission focused on economic development and included visits to the cities of Beijing, Chongqing, and Shanghai, where the Mayor met Vice President Xi and invited the Vice President to visit Los Angeles.
Immediately following Vice President Xi’s arrival in Los Angeles, Mayor Villaraigosa hosted Vice President Xi on a tour of the Port of Los Angeles, the country’s largest container port and a key driver of the local economy. Together with the Port of Long Beach, the Port complex handles 40% of all containerized goods from China. At the Port, Vice President Xi met with employees of China Shipping, which is undertaking a major expansion project of their terminal within the Port of Los Angeles. Mr. Xi said that the port’s development and China Shipping are "a solid foundation for continued U.S. and China trade and continued economic cooperation."
Mr. Xi’s visit will have "a direct effect on" China's relationship with the U.S., said Li Shaode, the chairman of Shanghai-based China Shipping. He also noted that his company’s ships are returning from the Port of Los Angeles with more U.S. products. Mr Li stated: "American exports...have benefits for the U.S. and the Chinese people."
China-US Economic Forum
This historic forum, hosted by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, emphasized the positive trade relationship between US and China and highlighted future trade opportunities. A signing ceremony took place with 30 deals signed between US and Chinese companies. At the forum, Mayor Villaraigosa and Deputy Mayor for Economic and Business Policy Matt Karatz provided remarks on the future of economic cooperation between Los Angeles and China.
- MOU with Chongqing and ZTE - As part of the signing ceremony, Matt Karatz, Deputy Mayor of Economic and Business Policy, signed a memorandum of understanding with the City of Chongqing, China’s most populous city. The MOU will facilitate the opening of a Los Angeles tourism office in Chongqing. The deputy mayor also signed an MOU with ZTE, a Chinese multinational telecommunications equipment and systems company. This MOU will facilitate ZTE's to expansion in California, giving them a stronger presence in North America.
Deputy Mayor Matt Karatz signs an MOU with ZTE Corp.
- Mayor's Lunch - Mayor Villaraigosa hosted a lunchtime gathering of influential policymakers and business leaders including Vice President Joe Biden, Former Governors Arnold Schwarzenegger and Gray Davis, US Ambassador to China Gary Locke, Secretary of Commerce John Bryson, DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, East West Bank CEO and C-100 Chairman Dominic Ng, Berkshire Hathaway Vice Chairman Charlie Munger and AFL-CIO Secretary Maria Elena Durazo. The group met with Chinese party secretaries and governors to further the initiatives outlined earlier in the day.
China and Los Angeles
China is the world’s fastest-growing economy -- and Los Angeles’s largest trading partner. Our strong cultural and business ties wtih China will help generate economic activity and create jobs in Los Angeles.
- Approximately 360,000 Chinese live in LA County -- more than any other county in the US.
- USC has the highest number of Chinese students of any university in the US, followed by UCLA.
- The LA Customs district handles $144 billion in US-China trade, more than 30% of all US trade with China.
- Trade with China generates an estimated $35 billion in local economic impact, roughly 5% of the Los Angeles metropolitan economy.
- Los Angeles is undertaking more than $1 billion in improvements at the Port of Los Angeles to ensure that trade with China continues to grow.
- Chinese visitors to Los Angeles spent an estimated $340 million in 2011, generating thousands of jobs in the local tourism sector.
- LA has 36% of the market share for Chinese visitors to the US.
- Arrivals from China to the US are forecast to increase 274% between 2012 and 2016.
- Visits to Los Angeles from China have grown 200% since Los Angeles opened an official tourism office in Beijing.
- Los Angeles is undertaking more than $4 billion in improvements to LAX, which will help Los Angeles maintain its number one market share.
- Chinese companies spent $272 million in Los Angeles County from 2007 to 2011, creating nearly 1,300 jobs over that period.
- Los Angeles represents the future of innovation & market access for China, including such fields as renewable energy, electric vehicles, and transportation.
- Chinese electric automaker BYD located its North American headquarters in Los Angeles as a direct result of support from Mayor Villaraigosa and the City of Los Angeles.
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