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Roundup: China-California business forum held in L.A. to boost economic links, subnational cooperation

Updated: May 21, 2024 Source: Xinhua News Agency
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by Xinhua writers Tan Jingjing, Gao Shan

LOS ANGELES, May 20 (Xinhua) -- The China-California Business Forum was held in Los Angeles on Monday, bringing together officials, business organizations and companies of the two countries with the goal of expanding business ties and subnational cooperation.

Addressing the event, Chinese Consul General in Los Angeles Guo Shaochun said China is California's largest trading partner and California has the largest presence of Chinese-invested companies among all states in the United States. The bilateral economic and trade cooperation has facilitated growth in employment and economy, benefiting the peoples of both China and the United States.

In 2023, China was California's top trading partner with two-way trade amounting to over 137 billion U.S. dollars. More than half of the containers entering and leaving the Port of Los Angeles are for trade with China, and 70 percent of the cargo volume at the Port of Long Beach is China-related, according to Guo.

Calling the China-California Business Forum an important platform for deeper communication and broader business opportunities, Guo said the forum will vitalize subnational cooperation and promote the sound, stable and sustainable development of China-U.S. relations.

Lieutenant Governor of the state of California Eleni Kounalakis said the relationship between California and China is special, citing California's location on the Pacific Rim, large Chinese American community, significant trading activities and student exchanges.

"All of those have led to the creation of longstanding and respectful friendship," she said.

This year's forum is joined by a Chinese delegation consisting of over 150 top business leaders and trade officials from dozens of provinces. Shanghai is the Guest City of Honor this year.

Mayor of Shanghai Gong Zheng said that in recent years, the exchanges and cooperation between Shanghai and Californian cities such as Los Angeles and San Francisco have been further expanded.

Shanghai expects to further enhance substantial cooperation with California in such areas as science and technological innovation, trade and investment, tourism, cultural exchanges and green development, in a bid to achieve high-level win-win cooperation, Gong said.

Karen Bass, mayor of Los Angeles, stressed the close bonds between China and Los Angeles. China is the sixth largest source of foreign-owned businesses in Los Angeles, and the third largest export market for L.A. dairy companies.

Nearly 250 businesses from China have expanded to Los Angeles creating jobs and economic opportunity. Over the last ten years, L.A. companies have exported more than 60 billion dollars in goods to China. China's ports are the most significant trading partners on the port of Los Angeles, according to Bass.

Amy Tong, secretary of California Government Operation, said California has long been a hub for cultural exchanges between China and the United States, helping Chinese visitors to feel welcomed at home and fostering rich artistic dialogues.

Numerous museums, galleries and cultural institutions of California have events showcasing Chinese arts, calligraphy, music and dance. Events like the Chinese New Year celebrations further strengthen ties and promote mutual understanding, Tong said.

California is also home to some of the world top universities and research institutions, attracting a significant number of Chinese students and scholars, she added.

"Ultimately, as two of the biggest economies in the world, we hope our relationship can serve as a positive force for good, and remind the world what we have to gain by working together and towards peace and share prosperity," Tong noted.

The forum focused on a number of important sectors, including clean technologies, e-commerce, agriculture, infrastructure and innovation.

A series of memorandum of understanding (MoU) were signed during the event to boost trade cooperation between China and California, including one between World Trade Center Los Angeles and Shanghai Foreign Investment Development Board, and another between San Francisco International Airport and Shanghai Airport Authority.

The China-California Business Forum is an annual economic and trade event under the China Provinces and U.S. California Joint Working Framework for Trade and Investment cooperation. The event was founded to boost the pragmatic cooperation in trade and investment between California and related provinces and cities in China.

Starting from 2016, the previous five forums have drawn in over 2,100 attendees, addressing an array of topics including clean technology, e-commerce, agriculture, infrastructure, innovation cooperation and more. 

Editor: Yu Huichen