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April 12, 2013


Bay Area Council Joins Gov. Brown to Open First CA-China Trade Office in 10 Years

Positioning California to attract a growing share of China’s massive foreign investment pool and bolster California-China trade, the Bay Area Council joined Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. on Friday to officially open the California-China Office of Trade and Investment in Shanghai. The event was among the highlights of the eight-day trade and investment mission (the trip concludes April 16) that the Bay Area Council organized for the state, and culminated months of work by the Council to establish California’s first China trade office in 10 years. “The California-China Office of Trade and Investment ushers in an exciting new era of cooperation and partnership between two of the world’s largest economies,” Jim Wunderman, President and CEO of the Bay Area Council, said. “This office will provide California with a valuable and necessary portal for attracting Chinese investment and expanding trade. Some estimates suggest China’s foreign direct investment may reach $2 trillion by 2020 and this trade office says clearly that California is ready to do business, and that we want a big piece of that pie.”

Watch a video welcome from Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

This is not the first official trade mission to China in 10 years, as reported in a Flash item last week. The Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce coordinated the Korean leg of an official trade mission to Asia led by Governor Schwarzenegger three years ago.

For updates and other announcements throughout the trade mission, which continues through April 16, please follow these social media channels:


New Report: Uptick in Bay Area Foreign Trade

Bay Area companies are seeing a welcome rebound in foreign trade activity following the global financial crises of 2008-2009, according to a new report produced by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute with the generous support of Wells Fargo Bank, the Port of Oakland and San Francisco International Airport. The report, International Trade and the Bay Area Economy: Regional Interests and Global Outlook 2012-2013, is the fifth in a series appearing in alternating years since 2003 and documents the global economic outlook for 2013, the prospects for trade, the status of key international trade negotiations, the performance of key regional export sectors, and developments impacting trade infrastructure (ports and airports).


Talking Business with State Elected Leaders at Upcoming Sacramento Day

On April 29, top executives from companies around the region will converge on Sacramento for the Bay Area Council’s Annual Sacramento Day. We hold a half-day of meetings in the Governor’s office with legislators and top Administration officials, including Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, Secretary of Natural Resources John Laird, State Controller John Chiang and Assembly Republican Leader Connie Conway.  The round-table discussions will cover topics ranging from international trade to CEQA modernization to the implementation of healthcare reform.  We will close out the day with a reception and dinner at the Esquire Grill with the Bay Area Caucus – an opportunity to thank our legislators for their work and discuss with them one-on-one the opportunities and challenges of the region’s business community.  This event is open to members and there is no cost to participate, thanks to our sponsors T.Y. Lin International and Visa, Inc.  Contact Emily Finkel for more information or to RSVP.


Keeping Pressure On for CEQA Reform

The Bay Area Council is continuing its push for CEQA modernization this year. We met this week with Ken Alex, Director of the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, and had a very productive conversation about the many barriers faced by infill developers. On Monday, the Bay Area Council testified in support of San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener’s legislation making sensible and reasonable changes to the city’s environmental review and appeals process. The CEQA Working Group, a statewide coalition in which the Bay Area Council is participating, enjoyed a very successful week in the media, with editorial boards and opinion pieces running in newspapers across the state urging Sacramento to push through CEQA reform legislation. And this weekend, Vice President of Government Relations Matt Regan will be a panelist at the San Mateo Progress Seminar discussing CEQA reform. To engage in our CEQA reform work, contact Matt Regan.


Member Spotlight: The WIPRO SF Marathon Corporate Challenge

The Bay Area Council is pleased to partner with member SF Marathon on the corporate team challenge. Assemble your corporate team to run on June 16, 2013 and show us what you’ve got! As part of the launch of a strategic wellness partnership between the Bay Area Council and The Wipro San Francisco Marathon, Bay Area Council members receive exclusive member discount benefits to participate. Form teams for any event and receive $25 off each team member full and half marathon entry, and $10 off each 5K/Progressive team member entry. Visit SF Marathon Team Challenge for more information. For the full and half marathons, enter code DSC25BAC2013. For the 5K/Progressive, enter code DSC5KBAC2013.


Article of the Week

Bay Area Council member Signature Development Group captured headlines this week when Gov. Jerry Brown announced during the CA-China trade mission a $1.5 billion investment partnership between the Oakland-based developer and a Chinese investor. Read the story.


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