Mayor’s Trade Mission to Asia Will Bring Jobs and Investment to LA
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa led 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 traveled to LA's three largest trading partners December 3 through December 14, 2011. Asia is home to eight of LA's top ten trade partners accounting for over $250 billion in two-way trade and hundreds of thousands of direct and indirect jobs. Here are a few of the highlights from the trade mission:
Raising the Profile of Los Angeles Businesses in Asia
LA companies can take advantage of our strong cultural and economic ties with Asian countries to grow their businesses abroad--and many local firms are already proving that LA goods have high demand in these fast-growing economies. Mayor Villaraigosa met with government leaders to promote the following LA companies and their ventures in Asia:
- Ikonic -The Mayor announced a new collaborative partnership between the LA-based Ikonic Entertainment Group and the Shiyan-based Taichi Lake Group. IKONIC is expected to create 200 LA jobs while working on the Shiyan city Taichi Lake project--the largest leisure resort project in China. Click here to read more
- Rhapsody Clothing - LA-based Rhapsody Clothing and foreign investor Willbes & Co., Ltd out of Seoul, Korea signed a joint agreement that will secure hundreds of new jobs in LA by expanding Rhapsody's market access across Asia, including Korea and China..
- Forever21 - The LA-based company re-entered the Chinese market by opening three new Forever 21 retail stores. Forever 21 is the only North American company to compete in China in the fast-fashion sector with the likes of H&M & Zara.
- AECOM - AECOM is a Fortune 500 company and global provider of professional, technical and management support services headquartered out of LA. Villaraigosa attended the opening of their Shanghai office and celebrated the expansion of this LA company's global business.
- OnGreen - OnGreen is an LA-based company that helps local CleanTech firms find investors and partners from around the world. OnGreen showcased LA CleanTech firms, their products, and services during a series of meetings and events designed to increase Asian investment in LA's growing CleanTech sector.
- 350Green - developer of wide scale electric vehicle charging networks in major cities in the United States and around the world
- CODA Automotive - designer, manufacturer and retailer of electric vehicles and lithium-ion battery systems purpose-built for transportation and utility applications
- Gensler - A global architecture & design firm with 3,000+ professionals in 41 countries, Gensler is the lead designer of the Shanghai Tower project. Upon completion, the Shanghai Tower will be the tallest skyscraper in Asia and the second tallest building in the world and expects to achieve LEED Gold certification.
- WET Design - Designer and manufacturer of globally-leading water features
Bringing Asian Businesses and Investment to Los Angeles
The Villaraigosa Administration is committed to creating jobs in Los Angeles by developing relationships between L.A. and Asian businesses and government leaders. Personal meetings are a key tool used to develop, maintain and strengthen relationships with Asian business leaders. While in Asia, the Mayor met with leaders from:
- Hyundai Merchant Marine (Korea) - The Mayor signed an MOU with Hyundai Merchant Marine Company to begin the largest private expansion at the Port of LA. The Korean-owned company pledged to help build the Port's Pier 500 project that will create thousands of permanent and construction jobs. Click here to read more
- Lotte Group (Korea) - The Mayor met with top level executives and signed an MOU with the the big 5 Korean conglomerate to encourage future business opportunities for both Lotte and the City of Los Angeles. The company recently made a significant investment in 4D technology in Hollywood, and we hope to find them a home here in LA to become a part of our growing creative economy.
- Huawei (China) - A leader in information communications technology, Huawei has products and services in 130 countries and is used by 45 of the world's top 50 telecom operators. The Mayor will host Huawei during the first quarter of 2012 to close a deal and move this communications technology leader to LA.
- China Investment Corporation / CIC (China) - With approximately US$200Â billion of assets under management, CIC is one of the world's largest sovereign wealth funds.
- China Shipping (China) - the world's eighth-largest container shipping company
- Bank of Communications (China) - China's 5th largest bank
- Mizuho Bank (Japan) - the second largest financial services company in Japan
- Hitachi (Japan) - Multinational conglomerate headquartered in Tokyo
- East Japan Railway (Japan) - The largest passenger railway company in the world
Promoting Tourism to LA from Growing Asian Economies
Tourism generates $14.1 billion and supports 437,000 jobs in Los Angeles area. It is one of our top growth industries and a linchpin for our local economy. Last year, 829,000 tourists from China, Korea and Japan visited L.A. While in Asia, Mayor Villaraigosa:
- Signed an MOU agreement in Chongqing -- China’s most populous city -- to open a Los Angeles tourism office. This will be Chongqing’s first-ever municipal tourism office
- Met with hundreds of tour operators to encourage Los Angeles as a travel destination
- Promoted the expansion of the state-of-the-art Tom Bradley International Terminal to be completed in 2013.
- Advocated for a loosening of visa policy in China to give more tourists access to US tourist visas
Building Relationships with Key Government Leadership
Personal meetings are a key tool used to develop, maintain and strengthen relationships with Asian government officials. While in Asia, Mayor Villaraigosa met with these government officials:
- Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping
- Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan
- Chongqing Party Secretary Bo Xilai
- Beijing Mayor Guo Jinlong
- Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng
- Chongqing Mayor Huang Qifan
- Japanese Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Trade & Tourism Takeshi Maeda
- Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba
- Korean Prime Minister Kim Hwang-Sik
- Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon
Establishing Ties with Trade/ Industry Groups
International trade and industry groups serve as important facilitators through which LA companies can conveniently cooperate with foreign companies and stimulate foreign direct investment. While in Asia, mayor Villaraigosa met with the following trade groups:
- China Young Entrepreneurs Association (CYEA)
- Chongqing Foreign Trade & Economic Relations Commission (COFTEC)
- Korean International Trade Association (KITA)
- Korean Trade Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA)
Learn More About International Business in Los Angeles
Chinese Business FAQ