Meetings with business leaders and government officials in Tokyo, Seoul, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Hong Kong will promote investment and tourism in Los Angeles.
LOS ANGELES — Mayor Eric Garcetti leaves Monday on a 10-day trade mission to Asia, where he will lead a delegation of business leaders and city officials to five cities for a series of meetings aimed at strengthening relationships and boosting investment and tourism in Los Angeles.
Representatives of the Port of Los Angeles, Los Angeles World Airports, and the L.A. Tourism and Convention Board are among those accompanying the Mayor to Tokyo, Seoul, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Hong Kong from July 23 to August 1. China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam are L.A.’s four leading trading partners, and tourism is among the largest contributors to the Los Angeles economy, supporting an average of more than 517,000 jobs in the leisure & hospitality sector in 2017.
“Los Angeles is a global city with partners and interests all over the world — and we have a special bond with our neighbors on the Pacific Rim,” said Mayor Garcetti. “Tourism and trade with Asia are integral to our local economy, international investment creates jobs for Angelenos, cultural exchange brings our people closer together, and cooperation on the biggest challenges will determine the future of the planet. I am thrilled about the progress we will make on this trade mission and look forward to seeing our friends in Tokyo, Seoul, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Hong Kong.”
Trade last year between Los Angeles and Japan was valued at $40 billion; South Korea at $25 billion; and Vietnam at $19.5 billion. In 2017, Los Angeles accounted for 27% of all U.S.-Hong Kong trade. Japan is the number one source of foreign-owned enterprises in the Southern California region with 2,541 firms, accounting for almost 86,000 employees and over $5.3 billion in wages.
Los Angeles also shares strong people-to-people ties with the Pacific Rim. L.A. County has the largest Asian American population of any county in the United States — numbering 1.5 million, and making up 15% of the county’s total population. Last year, L.A. County welcomed 1.1 million visitors from China, 342,000 from Japan, and 315,000 from South Korea.
Mayor Garcetti will meet with government officials and business leaders to increase tourism and encourage companies to locate and invest in Los Angeles. In partnership with the Mayor’s Office, the World Trade Center Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Business Council are organizing a business delegation to join the trade mission, which includes companies in the entertainment, finance, real estate, engineering, architecture, education, shipping, and cleantech sectors. This delegation will work with the City of Los Angeles and its partners in Asia to secure opportunities that lead to local job creation.
This trade mission is an investment in the economic growth of the Port of Los Angeles and Los Angeles World Airports, which are paying approximately $155,000 and $164,000 respectively of the approximate $319,000 cost that includes airfare, hotels, ground transportation, and promotional events in Tokyo and Seoul. Additional funds will be provided by corporate sponsorship of events. Members of the delegation who are not City employees will be paying their own expenses.