Thursday, November 3, 2011

Los Angeles City Hall Forms Export Council

With the goal of making it easier for Los Angeles region firms to export goods and services, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced Monday the formation of the Los Angeles Regional Export Council (LARExC).

The council is a collaboration between City Hall, the Los Angeles World Airports, the Port of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, the Centers for International Trade Development, the USC Center for International Business Education and Research and the UCLA Center for International Business Education and Research.

The LARExC will start by creating a website to serve as a single entry point for firms seeking assistance to sell goods and service abroad.

"We in Los Angeles are not waiting for Washington to create jobs," Villaraigosa said.
"We are launching the Los Angeles Regional Export Council to help local businesses find the export assistance they need to grow their businesses and create new jobs."

The LARExC website will serve as a one-stop regional export web resource to connect small- and medium-sized businesses with the appropriate export services. The council's main focus will be on existing exporters or firms that have the ability to start exporting, in about a dozen key growth industries ranging from apparel to green products to food products.

"As we continue to face a weak economy, regional leaders have to leverage their key assets and develop strategies to better engage in the global marketplace if they want to succeed in creating jobs in the short term and transform their economies for the long term," said Amy Liu, Co-Director and Senior Fellow, the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution, who Villaraigosa praised for inspiring the idea of the LARExC.

"This economic initiative will put Los Angeles and Southern California on that path to a more prosperous future."

The LARExC will also work with area trade groups to offer local businesses training in the nuances and advantages of free trade agreements.