LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Mayor Eric Garcetti will lead a delegation of four
City Council members and 20 other officials on a 12-day trade mission to three
Asian countries starting today.
Garcetti will spend the first week in China, visiting Guangzhou,
Shenzhen, Shanghai and Beijing.
Garcetti is expected to sign an agreement with the mayors of Guangzhou
and Auckland, New Zealand to foster exchange around trade, entertainment,
tourism, and innovation. He will also sign an agreement that will enable
Chinese patients to travel to Los Angeles for surgery and other medical care.
Garcetti will also make speeches at the ribbon-cutting of the Chinese
office of the Los Angeles green-tech company SaveSorb, and the grand opening of
a clinical laboratory run by UCLA and the Chinese firm Centre Testing
Garcetti is expected to announce the opening date of China’s tallest
building, the 121-story Shanghai Tower, designed by Los Angeles architecture
From China, Garcetti and the delegation will then spend three days in
Seoul, the capital of South Korea, and one day in Tokyo.
Garcetti said Los Angeles has “strong economic ties with Asia, and we
must continue to build on them to increase investment, trade, and tourism in
“Los Angeles is a global city and is our nation’s gateway to the
Pacific Rim through LAX and the nation’s number one port,” Garcetti said.
China is Los Angeles’ top trading partner, with $164.38 billion in trade
in 2013, according to the mayor’s office.
Japan is Los Angeles’ second biggest trading partner, with $43.5
billion, followed by South Korea with $22.5 billion.
Los Angeles is home to the largest Korean immigrant community in the
United States, and has the most Japanese businesses in the U.S.
Chinese tourists numbered 339,000, and Japan sent 289,000 visitors in 2012.
Twenty-six people will be in the city’s delegation, including Los
Angeles City Council members Gil Cedillo, Curren Price, Mike Bonin and Joe
Buscaino, as well as executive directors and officials from the city’s harbor
and airport agencies.
The mayor’s father — former Los Angeles County District Attorney Gil
Garcetti — will also travel with the group and like other non-city employees
will be paying his own way on the trip, which is aimed at attracting investment
and promoting tourism to Los Angeles.
A separate delegation of business people led by the Los Angeles County
Economic Development Corporation, Los Angeles Business Council and Los Angeles
Area Chamber of Commerce will also join Garcetti on the trade mission.
The city’s harbor and airport agencies — which manage the Port of Los
Angeles, Los Angeles International Airport and LA/Ontario Airport — will pick
up a $570,000 portion of the tab for the trip.
The mayor’s office said additional trip expenses will be paid by the Los
Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority footing $25,000 of the
bill, the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles covering about $23,000 and corporate
sponsors putting in at least $30,000.
The mayor’s office list of confirmed sponsors include Universal Studios
Hollywood, DFS, Greenland, Steinberg Architects and CJ Entertainment.