Bay Area Council Blog

C

COUNCIL NAMES SPRING XING DIRECTOR OF SHANGHAI OFFICE

Spring Xing, Director of BAC's Shanghai Office

We are pleased to announce that Spring Xing has been hired as Director of the Bay Area Council’s Shanghai office.  Xing comes to the Bay Area Council from Soufun Holdings, the leading real estate internet portal and home furnishing and improvement website in China, where she was Deputy General Manager of the Shanghai Branch and General Manager of their operations in Hong Kong.  Previously, she worked for the Shanghai Industry Investment Corporation, the Ray White Group, ExxonMobil, and Siemens.  Xing has an MBA from the China Europe International Business School and a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the Guangdong University of Foreign Studies. In her role as Office Director, Xing will be responsible for managing the Bay Area Council’s activities in China, including attracting Bay Area companies to the Yangpu District of Shanghai, managing communications with government officials and related enterprises, and developing leads among Chinese companies interested in growing in the Bay Area.  The Bay Area Council’s Shanghai office opened in June of 2010 and is located in the Knowledge and Innovation Community in the Yangpu District of Shanghai.

PDF Press Release

1.19.11

Media Advisory: BAY AREA COUNCIL TO HOST U.S. SENATOR MARK WARNER OF VIRGINIA FOR DISCUSSION ON JOBS, ECONOMY

The Bay Area Council today announced that they will host U.S. Senator Mark Warner of Virginia for a discussion on innovation, global competitiveness and jobs on Thursday, January 20, 2011.  Senator Warner is looking for input from the Bay Area Council’s members on how the U.S. may better compete globally on factors such as investment in research and development, educating scientists and engineers, and venture capital.  The meeting will be hosted in collaboration with the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation and Holland & Knight LLP.

“Senator Warner is a leader on many fronts in the Senate, from pushing for government accountability to being a champion for small business,” said Jim Wunderman, President and CEO of the Bay Area Council.  “We look forward to having a candid discussion with Senator Warner about how to ensure that the Bay Area, California and the United States are as innovative and globally competitive as possible.”

WHO: Mark R. Warner, United States Senator from the Commonwealth of Virginia

WHAT: Senator Warner in conversation with top Bay Area executives on the topic of global competitiveness in the innovation economy, moderated by Information Technology and Innovation Foundation President Dr. Rob Atkinson.

WHERE: Mission Bay Development Group, 255 Channel St., San Francisco, CA 94158

WHEN: 8:00am – 9:30am
Thursday, January 20, 2011

***All media planning to attend should RSVP to jarellano@bayareacouncil.org, 415-946-8725***

About Senator Mark Warner:
Mark Warner was elected to the U.S. Senate in November 2008.  As a member of the Senate’s Banking Committee, he has been a key leader in bipartisan efforts to effectively update oversight of Wall Street and end taxpayer bailouts of failing financial firms.

He is also viewed as a tireless champion of small businesses on Main Street, working effectively with the White House on creative solutions to try to increase the flow of credit to small businesses that continue to struggle in this tough economy.

As a member of the Senate Budget Committee, he was selected to lead a bipartisan task force that is looking for ways to increase accountability and improve government performance to reduce federal budget deficits.

On the Commerce Committee, Senator Warner has worked to promote greater innovation by successfully offering legislation that will result in the first update in nearly 40 years to our nation’s strategic competitiveness plan.

Senator Warner co-founded the cellular company Nextel and made early investments in hundreds of promising new companies that ultimately created thousands of jobs. From 2002 to 2006, he served as Governor of Virginia during its worst economic recession in 20 years, turning record deficits into a budget surplus. When Governor Warner left office in 2006, Virginia was nationally recognized as the country’s “best-managed state” and the “best state for business.”

PDF Media Advisory

Jerry Brown

San Francisco Chronicle: Jerry Brown’s budget earns business leaders’ raves

They like it, they really like it.

That’s the early reaction to Gov. Jerry Brown‘s budget from Bay Area business leaders, economists and a labor representative I spoke to on Tuesday. The governor gets an A+ for “honesty” and for generally grabbing the bull by the horns, even on taxes.

Concerns were expressed on the proposed elimination of state redevelopment and enterprise zone funding, and a requirement that corporations use a “single sales factor,” based on their actual sales in California, to determine corporate tax owed, rather than allowing them to opt for a formula based on employment and property, as well as sales in the state.

Perhaps most important is how the Legislature and the electorate respond. As one business leader said, “Ultimately, the real wild card is whether Californians will be willing to go to the ballot box to tax themselves to stave off more cuts.”

Herewith a sample of opinions, in their own words:

Stephen Levy, director, Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy

The budget is positive for the economy because it’s honest. It says in order to cut $25 billion (the current deficit), everyone’s got to kick in. It’s about allocating pain, and the 50-50 division between spending cuts and tax increases is a strong symbol of Californians sharing the pain.

If we can balance the budget honestly, it’s a signal to business and to investors that California once again can do, rather than the reputation it currently has, which is the state that can’t agree on anything.

Jim Wunderman, CEO, Bay Area Council

The governor is to be commended for a reality-based budget. The state can’t move forward without it. But this is very big and complex and has to be looked at carefully.

We could be supportive of the tax extensions, but they could impact job creation and investments in plants, for example. On the single sales factor, we preferred the more flexible optional approach, and will have to look at the implications of putting every company affected in the one cup of soup.

As to eliminating state money for redevelopment and enterprise zones, we know there are some boondoggles, and money not always used in ways intended, but they’ve also helped with major improvements in areas suffering from economic malnutrition.

We’re currently polling our 275 members on these issues.

Read the story…

Jerry Brown Introduces January California Budget

Statement: BAY AREA COUNCIL’S STATEMENT ON GOVERNOR BROWN’S PROPOSED STATE BUDGET

Bay Area Council President & CEO Jim Wunderman released the following statement today in response to Governor Brown’s proposed state budget:

“We complement Governor Brown for doing the best he can under difficult circumstances.  Ultimately, the real wildcard is whether Californians will be willing to go to the ballot box to tax themselves to stave off more cuts.  Our regional business community will need to carefully consider the ballot proposals for tax extensions, the single sales factor and changes to redevelopment agencies before announcing our positions.

We recognize that Jerry Brown has one of the toughest assignments ever given an American political leader and we want to help him succeed.  We hope the Governor will use this opportunity to permanently reform California government, which we believe is his firm intent.”

Statement PDF

1.6.11.2

Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal: International trade showing recovery

International trade — which declined with the global economy in 2009 — is recovering, according to a report released Thursday by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute.

“After a deep global recession, trade is growing again,” said Sean Randolph, president & CEO of the Bay Area Council Economic Institute. “This is important not just for large companies, but for thousands of small and medium sized companies as well. As a major trading region, we need to support open markets, help smaller companies succeed as exporters, and invest in the port, airport and transportation infrastructure that will support a growing volume of goods and people entering and leaving the region.”

The report said that while in recent years the United States has not actively sought new free trade agreements, three bilateral agreements negotiated by the Bush Administration — with Korea, Columbia and Panama — have been stalled in Congress.

Of those, the agreement with Korea is most important to the Bay Area, the report added.

“Passage of the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement is a Bay Area priority, and should be supported by every member of the region’s Congressional delegation,” said Jim Wunderman, president & CEO of the Bay Area Council.

Read the story…

1.6.11

Press Release: International Trade Showing Signs of Recovery After 2009 Decline, According to New Bay Area Council Economic Institute Report

The Bay Area Council Economic Institute (BACEI) today released a new report, International Trade and the Bay Area Economy: Regional Interests and Global Outlook, 2010-2011. The fourth in a series produced in alternating years since 2003, the report assesses current trends in international trade, trade negotiations, regional trade activity, and trade-related infrastructure.

It finds that international trade, which declined with the global economy in 2009, is recovering.

“After a deep global recession, trade is growing again,” said Sean Randolph, President & CEO of the Bay Area Council Economic Institute.  “This is important not just for large companies, but for thousands of small and medium sized companies as well.  As a major trading region, we need to support open markets, help smaller companies succeed as exporters, and invest in the port, airport and transportation infrastructure that will support a growing volume of goods and people entering and leaving the region.”

The report notes that while in recent years the United States has not actively sought new free trade agreements, three bilateral agreements negotiated by the Bush Administration – with Korea, Columbia and Panama – have been stalled in Congress.  Of these, it finds that the agreement with Korea is most important to the Bay Area, due to the size of Korea’s economy and its status as a major trading partner.  President Obama has expressed support for all three agreements, and has negotiated amendments to the Korea agreement that will set up a Congressional vote this year.

“Passage of the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement is a Bay Area priority, and should be supported by every member of the region’s Congressional delegation,” said Jim Wunderman, President & CEO of the Bay Area Council.

From a Bay Area standpoint, the report notes two other trade forums that merit particular attention in 2011. Negotiations are underway for a Trans-Pacific Partnership with nine U.S. trading partners in the Asia-Pacific region.  The United States will also host the 21-nation APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) Leaders Summit in Honolulu in November.  The pre-summit, which will engage 1,000-2,000 ministers, ambassadors, senior officials and business leaders from the 21 APEC economies, will be held in San Francisco in September, offering a unique opportunity to address California and Bay Area priorities.

These developments are particularly important for the Bay Area, which ranks as the nation’s fourth largest source of exports.  Asia continues to be the Bay Area’s largest export market, with computer and electronic products the leading export. The region’s exports are diverse, however, also including wine, apparel, petroleum products, and a wide array of services.

A survey conducted for the report of leading Bay Area companies and where they earn their revenue (in the U.S. or overseas) finds that 2009 broke a longstanding trend in which companies derived an ever-increasing share of revenue from global markets. This reflected the stalling of the global economy in 2008-09.  With trade gathering momentum in 2010 and strong growth in many Asia-Pacific markets, however, the historic trend toward growing dependence on international trade is likely to resume.


PDF Press Release

Download the Report

1.4.11

New CA Supt. of Public Instruction Taps Council VP for Transition Team

Our schools need help.  California’s students rank 48th or 49th in the country in reading, science and math.  Compared globally, the situation darkens further with the U.S. ranked 29th in science and 35th in math.

Luckily, help from the Bay Area Council is on the way.  The Council’s VP of Education, Linda Galliher was tapped to join newly elected Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson’s transition team. Linda has accomplished some great things at the Council over the past year, such as leading the passage of legislation to allow teacher performance to be linked to student outcomes, helping to pass legislation to establish an early warning system for student failure or dropout, and leading the passage of legislation to raise the kindergarten entry age to five, with transitional schooling for eligible four year olds.

We’re proud of her work and we know that Linda will ensure the voice of business is clearly heard as Superintendent Torlakson assumes office. Congrats!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

KCBS: Proposed San Francisco Hiring Plan Angers Neighboring Counties

Unemployed union workers are demanding that San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom sign a measure requiring the city to hire more local employees for construction jobs, and business groups in at least one neighboring county oppose the law.

The so-called “local hiring law” was approved by a super-majority of the SF Board of Supervisors. It would require that at least 50 percent of the workers hired for city construction projects, actually live in San Francisco. Mayor Gavin Newsom is mulling it over.

Two local job advocacy groups held rallies at City Hall, pressuring him to sign it. James Richards leads Aboriginal Blackmen United, which is based in the Bayview.

“We want to put the Merry in the Christmas, and put the Happy back in the New Year, because that’s what that would mean to us,” said Richards. “It would give us hope for the next year if they signed the local hiring legislation.”

Richards says fewer workers can afford to live in the city, because jobs are farmed out to people from the Peninsula and the East Bay.

But Joe Arellano with the Bay Area Council, said mandating so much local hiring will send the wrong message.

“It’s setting a bad precedent for counties to basically set policies that pit each other against other jurisdictions in the Bay Area,” said Arellano.

San Mateo’s supervisors have come out against it too, saying the Bay Area needs regional solutions to its economic problems.

Listen to the story here:

Read the story…

12.21.10

Statement: BAY AREA COUNCIL ANNOUNCES OPPOSITION TO SAN FRANCISCO’S PROPOSED LOCAL HIRE ORDINANCE

The Bay Area Council today announced its opposition to a plan by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to mandate that San Franciscans make up at least half the work force of construction projects in the City and within 70 miles of it.

Bay Area Council President & CEO Jim Wunderman released the following statement:

“This troubling trend of intra-county battles being started by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors needs to stop.  The Bay Area is one regional economy, not nine island states.  We need to focus on nurturing the fragile economic recovery in our region, not setting bad policies that pit county against county.   The Bay Area Council urges Mayor Newsom to veto this foolhardy piece of legislation.  Right now, we do not need any more incentives for businesses to leave any county, the Bay Area, or California.”

PDF Statement