Why the Council’s Focus on China? It’s the Economy…

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By John Grubb

At the end of 2006, recognizing that most of the Council’s members have operations in about 20 of the same regions on the planet, the BAC created a “Global Competitiveness Strategy.”  The strategy was designed to extend the Council’s reach and open up an international front to take advantage of the new globalized economy.  The Council started with the Shanghai-Yangtze region of China because of historical ties, current economic links and the phenomenal growth potential.

First there were delegation visits and conferences, delving into such issues as green-technology and venture capital. Those evolved into what the Council proudly announced last month: a fully operational and permanent trade office in Shanghai’s dynamic Yangpu District.  Along the way, many of our members have deftly parlayed the Council’s visits into serious money making and employment boosting opportunities.  Just like China, the relationships have grown at lightning speed – from simple meet-and-greets to strong connections with the top business and government leaders of the Shanghai- Yangtze region, and beyond.

In September, we expect to cross a new threshold, when Governor Schwarzenegger and top Chinese leaders join us at an event codifying a 4-Point Economic Agreement currently being negotiated.  The visit will also celebrate the opening of offices in China by some of our local companies, as they capitalize on the Chinese market and sell their products and services.  This matters profoundly.  The relatively anemic economic turnaround in California and the rest of the United States has made accessing the China market critical to our economic recovery.  If you or a company you know are getting ready to expand in China, you should consider joining our delegation to China in September. If nothing else, it will be a great way to start practicing your Mandarin.

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