Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Oakland Mayor Heads to China on Trade Mission

The new mayor of Oakland, and the city’s first Chinese-American to hold the post, has joined Port of Oakland officials on a trade mission to China.

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, who was sworn in this January, is joining Oakland City Council President Larry Reid, port commissioners, Port Executive Director Omar R. Benjamin and other port staff on the trade mission, which began May 7 and is set to last through May 13.

The group will meet with Chinese business and civic leaders in Beijing, Hong Kong and Shenzhen during the trip.

A primary goal of the trade mission is to develop business connections that will hopefully translate into increased cargo volumes, both export and import, moving through the Oakland port.

Other goals include developing direct air service between China and Oakland and securing investments from Chinese businesses with an eye on creating more Oakland jobs and increase revenues at the port.

Oakland is California's third busiest container port.

“The Port and City of Oakland are poised to enjoy ‘good luck’ in our commercial and cultural relations with China, the second largest economy in the world. ‘Luck’ is often defined as the intersection of opportunity and preparedness, ” Port Commission First Vice-President Pamela Calloway said. “Mayor Jean Quan and Council President Larry Reid have expanded our opportunity to grow our business at the airport and seaport. We are prepared for this opportunity to enhance and increase more than 50,000 jobs within the Northern California megaregion.”

In 2010, the Port of Oakland, the third busiest container port in the state, handled 5.15 billion metric tons of cargo worth more than $14 billion worth either coming from or going to China.