(CN) – Marking California’s first foreign trade office in a decade on Friday, Gov. Jerry Brown opened the California-China Office of Trade and Investment in Shanghai.
The office positions “California to attract a growing share of China’s massive foreign investment pool,” while bolstering trade, his office said in a statement.
Brown has spent the last few days in China on a trade and investment mission. The tour kicked off Wednesday with agreements on air quality and commerce, as well as a $1.5 billion China-California investment partnership.
“The California-China Office of Trade and Investment will serve as a hub for California companies interested in entering or expanding in China – the world’s second largest economy – and Chinese companies seeking investment opportunities in California – the world’s ninth largest economy by GDP,” Brown’s office said in a statement.
Senior administration officials accompanied Brown on the mission, along with a delegation from the Bay Area Council, which includes 90 business, economic development, investment and policy leaders from throughout California.
The council, which purports to have “deep roots in China,” will staff and operate the office, which will otherwise rely on private funds.
Bay Area Council CEO Jim Wunderman noted in a statement how some “estimates suggest China’s foreign direct investment may reach $2 trillion by 2020 and this trade office says clearly that California is ready to do business, and that we want a big piece of that pie.”
Brown credited the creation of the office to AB 2012, a bill he signed in October, which was authored by Assembly Speaker John A. Perez.
This bill allowed the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) to establish a public-private partnership to create state trade and investment offices.
California said its trade office in China is the state’s first since 2003.
It also announced several other deals Friday, such as a $50 million investment from Beijing-based pharmaceutical company JOINN Scientific in Staidson Pharmaceuticals so that they can open a pharmaceutical production plant at the former Bayer manufacturing facility in Richmond, Calif.
Hongye International of Wuhai, China, meanwhile will invest $100 million of private equity investment into the Arcadia, Calif.-based firm Singpoli Capital to develop green energy, biochemistry, media, high-technology and real estate construction projects in California, the governor’s office said.
It added that Sacramento-based McWong International and Emeryville-based New Logic Research Inc. secured a $20 million contract with Inner Mongolia-based ChinaCoal Mengda New Energy Chemical Company and China National Coal Group for a zero-liquid-waste discharge project.
The Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, also announced an agreement with Ningbo University.
It will include $50 million to $100 million of Chinese funding for a new research center at Scripps focusing on development of renewable marine resources and technologies at Ningbo University. This deal also includes $25 million to create a marine innovation and technology fund for commercialization in China of Scripps discoveries, Brown’s office said. Another program will send top Ningbo students for advanced academic work at Scripps.
Brown also faces meetings this week and next from Beijing and Shanghai to Nanjing, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.
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