Mayor Garcetti wraps up Asia trade mission with stops in Vietnam, Hong Kong

Meetings in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, and Hong Kong establish new relationships to encourage business, tourism, and sustainability

Mayor Eric Garcetti wrapped up a trade mission to Asia with stops in Vietnam and Hong Kong — for meetings with high-level government officials and business leaders focused on stimulating economic growth in Los Angeles, bringing jobs back to local markets, and building stronger ties with the city’s leading trade partners.

“The more Los Angeles engages with the world, the stronger our economy will be at home,” said Mayor Garcetti. “From our first stop in Tokyo to our last in Hong Kong, our delegation was focused on bringing investment to L.A.’s neighborhoods that will create jobs for Angelenos, strengthen our connections abroad, and build prosperity for workers, families, and communities on both sides of the Pacific. I am grateful to our hosts for their extraordinary hospitality and their enthusiasm for expanding the economic, cultural, and personal ties that bind our nations together.”

HANOI, VIETNAM

Over the course of his stay in Vietnam, Mayor Garcetti worked to establish new relationships and opportunities for L.A. businesses in the country’s rapidly expanding economy.

In Hanoi, Mayor Garcetti met with Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, where talks focused on trade, tourism, and people-to-people ties — and where Mayor Garcetti noted that advancing human rights is an important goal for the United States. He later met with Vice Minister of Transport Le Dinh Tho, Chair of the Hanoi People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Chung, and Vietnam Airlines CEO Duong Tri Trahn. All parties expressed strong interest in establishing a non-stop flight from Vietnam to LAX. Currently, there is no non-stop from the United States to Vietnam — yet Ho Chi Minh City to Los Angeles is the busiest air route in the world without one.  

During the meeting with Vice Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai, Mayor Garcetti witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Vietnam Trade Promotion Authority (Vietrade) and the Los Angeles Regional Export Council (LARExC) to increase cooperation between the business communities of Vietnam and the L.A. region in the fields of trade, investment, and joint ventures. Vietrade will be sending a large business delegation to Los Angeles in September 2018.

HO CHI MINH CITY, VIETNAM

In Ho Chi Minh City, the Mayor was on hand for the signing of two MOUs designed to boost innovation and economic development in both L.A. and Vietnam. The Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) agreed to work with the Saigon Hi-Tech Park on growing their portfolio companies and accelerating sustainable technologies. And the Los Angeles Business Council (LABC) established an alliance with the American Chamber of Commerce Vietnam (AmCham) and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) to promote solar energy generation, infrastructure development, and sustainable investment.

Mayor Garcetti met with activists and advocates who are working to advance and preserve human rights across Vietnam, with a particular focus on protecting disabled individuals, the LGBTQ community, and civil society in general. They discussed the challenges of Vietnam’s legal system for non-profits and possible future collaborations with L.A.-based groups.

L.A. business delegates networked with dozens of Vietnamese companies, including Vinamilk, Excelsior Capital, THP Group, TTC Group, Alpha King Real Estate, AIM America Indochina Management, Becamex IDC Corporation, Coteccons Construction Group, HI-TEK Inc., Hoa Binh Corporation, Northwest City Saigon City Development Corporation, Quang Trung Software City, Son Kim Land Corporation, Thien Khiem Company, Viet Idea F&B Company, Viglacera, Vietnam Waste Solutions, DatViet VAC Group Holdings, IDG Ventures Vietnam, Phuc Khang Corporation, Thien Long Group Corporation, Vina Capital, Webtretho, YKVN, Lien A Company, and Long An International Port.

Chair of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong and VietJet Airlines Vice Chair Dr. Nguyen Thanh Hung also expressed support for establishing a non-stop flight to LAX. The two City leaders discussed pollution, smart cities, and using open data for governing.

HONG KONG

Mayor Garcetti worked to boost business between companies in L.A. and Hong Kong. To that end, Mayor Garcetti witnessed the signing of an MOU between the World Trade Center Los Angeles (WTCLA) and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) to exchange information and support business cooperation between the two cities. HKTDC is launching a year-long promotional campaign in L.A. before sending a delegation to Los Angeles in September 2019.

In meetings with Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam and Secretary of the Environment Wong Kam-sing, Mayor Garcetti discussed best practices and future collaboration around trade, affordable housing, electric vehicles, innovation, and sustainability.

Mayor Garcetti also met with executives from Modern Terminals and Hongkong International Terminals to discuss supply chain optimization, cyber security, and environmental stewardship. Gene Seroka, Executive Director of the Port of Los Angeles (POLA), and Ed Renwick of the Board of Harbor Commissioners held 14 additional meetings with POLA customers across Asia and obtained commitments from Ocean Network Express and Evergreen Marine to share data on the GE Port Optimizer, a digital tool to improve cargo movement created through a partnership between POLA and GE Transportation.

During their visit, the Mayor and the business delegation convened sessions with executives from several companies including John Slosar, Chair, Cathay Pacific Airways; Henry Kerins, Vice President, TAG Capital; Ronnie Chan, Chair, Hang Lung; Maverick Wong, Chief Investment Officer, Ping An; Danny Lee, Partner, Bluepool; Bernard Chan, Chair, Asia Financial Holdings; Jesse Leiter, Head of International Equities, Jefferies; Kristian Heugh, Head of Global Investment, MSIM; Victor Fung, Chair, Li & Fung; David Halperin, Senior Partner, Orrick; Scobie Ward, Founder & Chair, WardFerry; James Guo, Founder & Chair, Blacktree; Alan Chan, Founder & Chair, Vectr; Frederick Mocatta, International Investment, Shanghai Pharma; Camille Tang, CEO, Wireless; Marc Descmidt, CEO International, Point72;  Brett Braude, Founder, Apache; John Chai, Managing Director, Fook Tin Technologies; Raymond Chan, President & CEO, Jing mei industrial; John Mok, Chair, AML Holdings; Andy Tung, CEO, Orient Overseas Container Line; and David Wong, Managing Director, United Overseas Investments.

The Mayor began the 10-day trade mission with stops in Japan and South Korea, where a series of meetings delivered agreements on bioenergy, tourism, and ports; new investments in Downtown L.A.; a partnership on crisis management for disasters; and cooperation on sustainability, resilience, and planning for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

For photographs of the trade mission, visit lamayor.org/photos.