bigger is better: showcasing california at massive chinese trade exhibition
Representing the only U.S. state to participate in one the world’s largest import exhibitions, the Bay Area Council this week opened the California Pavilion at the China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai. More than 400,000 Chinese buyers and 6,800 overseas buyers flocked to the five-day event, which was expected to generate an estimated $60 billion in transactions. The Council’s California Pavilion, whose lead sponsors included Impossible Foods and Baxco Pharmaceuticals, featured more than 20 California companies showcasing a wide range of products and services. Impossible Foods was a big star of the show, making their debut in China with celebrity master chef Jereme Leung serving up samples of the company’s plant-based meats to excited throngs of hungry attendees.
The exhibition was the culmination of larger trade mission the Council led with Assemblymember Phil Ting, Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson, Deputy Director for the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development Max Oltersdorf and more than 20 other delegates. The group met with top officials from China’s Ministries of Commerce and Agriculture and provincial government leaders in Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing and Hangzhou to discuss expanding trade and investment opportunities.
The Council also continued its work to deepen its participation in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA), which is one of several initiatives President Xi Jinping is undertaking to expand economic development throughout the country. Council Chief Operating Officer John Grubb signed an MOU with leaders of the Guangdong province to share best practices and collaborate on regional economic development. The signing came just after a week after Council CEO Jim Wunderman returned from China where he shared insights with GBA leaders and others at an international forum on regional economic development strategies. Bay Area Council Economic Institute Senior Director Sean Randolph also participated, offering his thinking at the China Inbound-Outbound Forum 2019 on the unique advantages our regions offer.