Updates from the Bay Area Council China Office

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After several years of trans-Pacific collaboration between the Bay Area Council and business and government leaders in the Yangtze River Delta region, we are proud that in June 2010 we were able to open a physical office in Shanghai’s Yangpu District to begin the important work of bilateral trade and investment promotion between our two regions. Through our China initiative, Council staff members both in the Bay Area and Shanghai help small, medium and large Bay Area businesses expand in the Chinese market, while also working to attract Chinese companies and investment to California. Since the opening of the office mid-year, we already have been able to facilitate many major deals between Bay Area and Chinese companies and governments.

The Bay Area Council led two delegations to China in 2010 for members to connect their Bay Area businesses with opportunities in China and to bring new investment to the Bay Area, California and the U.S. In June, the Council’s Chairman Lloyd Dean, President & CEO of Catholic Healthcare West, and approximately 35 other leading executives from the Bay Area spent a week in Shanghai meeting local leaders as well as celebrating the grand opening of our China office. BAC leadership met with Shanghai Party Secretary Yu Zhengsheng, among other notable figures.

As a testament to the clout assembled in our first delegation, the Council was appointed to lead a September delegation to Shanghai and Hangzhou featuring then California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, three State of California Cabinet Secretaries and 55 Bay Area Council delegates from 40 companies, representing a combined $179 billion in annual revenue. It was also on this trip that the Council announced its bid to bring World Expo 2020 to Moffett Field.

The Council also supported two trips led by Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson – the first focused on promoting opportunities within the NUMMI auto plant in Fremont and the second on sourcing interest among green technology companies in expanding their operations in the Bay Area.

In November, we had the privilege to host Shanghai Yangpu District Party Secretary Chen Yin and his leadership team in the Bay Area. Delegates met with the BAC Board of Directors at Lockheed Martin and senior executives from industry leaders like Kaiser Permanente, Pixar, IBM, Autodesk, Oclaro, Cogswell College, and Silicon Valley Bank. Throughout the year, we also addressed delegations from China’s National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Commerce, Sichuan provincial government, Dalian municipal government, Lianyungang municipal government, and other governments and state-owned enterprises.

Across these delegations, the Council supported a number of important MOUs and agreements between a diverse array of Bay Area companies and Chinese counterparts, including:

  • Zap-Jonway – Pilot project for electric vehicles and metering/charging infrastructure
  • Concept Art House – Development of digital arts education platform in Shanghai
  • Pacific Carbon Exchange – Connecting carbon exchanges in California & China
  • Cradle to Cradle Green Products Innovation Institute – Joint development of green products institute in Shanghai
  • Sanuk Mak – Representative office opening
  • Heller Manus Architects – Jeff Heller appointed as Yangpu District senior advisor for urban planning
  • The Cherokee Fund – Partnership on brownfield redevelopment project

The Bay Area Council itself has signed agreements with the China Railway Construction Company and the Shanghai Financial Services Bureau that will serve to further Bay Area economic interests around California high speed rail and the growing venture capital industry in China, respectively.

The Bay Area Council’s offices in both the US and China are committed to working with our members to promote the economic growth and integration of our two regions through the promotion of trade and investment. We welcome your involvement and direction as we move forward in 2011.

Happy New Year,
Kristen Durham
VP, Global Initiatives

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