SOURCE: Bay Area Economic Forum

November 16, 2006 11:00 ET

BAEF Report Documents Bay Area Role as US-China Portal

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- November 16, 2006 -- A new report by the Bay Area Economic Forum, "Ties That Bind: The Bay Area-China Connection," documents the depth and breadth of economic and other ties linking the San Francisco Bay Area with the world's fastest growing economy, China.

The report analyzes a range of key trade and investment activities, including sectors such as financial services, internet services, architecture and engineering, electronics manufacturing, semiconductors, venture capital, and advertising. It documents how the region has served for 150 years as the focal point for US immigration from China, and the growth of both educational ties and the Chinese business and professional organizations that provide important social infrastructure and two-way links to China.

According to Sean Randolph, President & CEO of the Bay Area Economic Forum, who led the report, "If you leave aside capital market activity in New York and container counts through the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the Bay Area is the leading portal in the United States for US-China exchange. This is a result of our assets in technology and venture capital, our history, and the depth of market intelligence on China that can be found here. I don't think anywhere else comes close."

Bay Area companies are playing a central role in the development of China's fast growing internet; are designing signature urban development projects, including China's tallest building and the master plan for Shanghai's waterfront; are setting the standard for historic preservation in Chinese cities; are pioneering investment in China's internet sector; are forging ties with Chinese entrepreneurs; and are investing heavily in IT manufacturing. IT systems and services from Bay Area companies provide the infrastructure for many of China's largest institutions and organizations.

Lenny Mendonca, Chairman of the Bay Area Economic Forum, commented, "California and the Bay Area have long histories of growing successfully with China. These unique relationships, forged over years, now hold the potential for new economic opportunities as China's status as a global emerging market grows." Gene Huang, Chief Economist for FedEx, which operates a major air cargo link to China through its Oakland hub, added, "The Bay Area has historically been the gateway to Asia. The modern practice of global portfolio management has elevated China's role in global supply chain management. This also reflects increased demand for the Bay Area to take a leadership position by utilizing its asset advantage in technology, capital goods and intellectual property."

In its recommendations, the report challenges Bay Area leaders to develop strategies that leverage the region's assets, to strengthen its role as a major US-China gateway. The Bay Area has an opportunity to promote itself within the United States as a source of Chinese expertise in the service sector, and to attract direct investment as Chinese capital begins to go abroad. Jim Wunderman, President & CEO of the Bay Area Council, observed that, "With the breathtaking pace of globalization plus expanding international trade, especially with China, the Bay Area needs a region-wide dialogue on our position in the global economy. The business community is working hard to ensure that our physical infrastructure and policies maximize our opportunities and our mutually beneficial relationship with China."

The Bay Area Economic Forum is a public-private organization of civic leaders that addresses issues impacting the long-term competitiveness and vitality of the Bay Area economy. It is jointly sponsored by the Bay Area Council and the Association of Bay Area Governments. The full report can be accessed on-line at www.bayeconfor.org.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Sean Randolph
    Bay Area Economic Forum
    (415) 981-7117