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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California
Southern California

Villaraigosa Plans Trade Tour to Asia

Villaraigosa will travel with a delegation of local business leaders and officials to build relationships with prominent Asian companies in an effort to bring more jobs to Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will travel to Asia in December as part of an effort to promote L.A. as a strategic city for Asian companies to plant businesses and make investments, his office announced Monday. 

Villaraigosa (Associated Press)
Villaraigosa (Associated Press)

The mayor will travel with a delegation composed of local business owners, as well as port, airport and tourism officials.  The 11-daylong trip will take the group through major cities in China, Japan, and South Korea, L.A.'s top three trading partners. 
"We have had success in expanding investment across our city by Asian business leaders," the mayor said in a prepared statement, "and will use this trip for crucial personal meetings, which we have found are a key tool and best practice in working with our friends in Asia."

The group will meet with key Asian leaders in government and business to encourage Asian firms to make investments and plant offices in L.A., thus generating job-growth for Angelinos.

Asian-owned companies in L.A. already account for nearly 20,000 jobs, according to the mayor's office, the Times reported. 

Other goals for the upcoming tour are promoting L.A. as a tourist destination and increasing trade activity by pressing for more imports from the L.A. port. 

This will be a return trip for the mayor, who made a similar tour through Asia in 2006.  One of the positive results of the mayor's last visit to Japan was that Famima!!, a Japanese convenience store chain, opened six stores in the L.A. area. 

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