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City and Port of Oakland Lead Trade Mission to China

Press Releases, Seaport
May 5th, 2011

Press Releases

For Immediate Release
May 5, 2011

City and Port of Oakland Lead Trade Mission to China

Focus on Investments In, Business Through and Jobs For Oakland and the Northern California MegaRegion

Oakland, Calif. – May 5, 2011 - The first-ever Chinese-American Mayor of the City of Oakland will join the Port of Oakland to lead a China trade mission beginning May 7 through May 13 to focus on increasing investments in, business through and jobs for Oakland and the Northern California MegaRegion. Trade mission participants include Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, Oakland City Council President Larry Reid, Port Commissioners, Port Executive Director Omar R. Benjamin and essential staff. Together, they will meet with key business and civic leaders in the global commerce centers of Beijing, Hong Kong and Shenzhen.

Expanding trade with China also supports President Barack Obama’s National Export Initiative to double U.S. export volumes by 2015. The City of Oakland, Port of Oakland and Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce recently sponsored a Northern California MegaRegion Summit, where eight Mayors within the MegaRegion signed a first-ever MegaRegion Export Initiative.

"The President's goal is to double exports by 2015. If the Port of Oakland is able to accomplish this, we'd create 5,000 jobs," said Oakland Mayor Jean Quan.

The specific objectives of this trade mission are to build business connections that will: 1) Increase maritime trade volume, with a focus on U.S. exports, through the Port of Oakland to generate jobs and increase local tax revenues; 2) develop direct China-Oakland air service to increase travel-related jobs and tourism; and 3) secure investments from and build strategic partnerships with Chinese businesses to create jobs and increase revenues in Oakland and the Northern California MegaRegion.

“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, ” said Port Commission First Vice-President Pamela Calloway. “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.”

On February 10, 2011, Port Executive Director Benjamin extended an invitation to Mayor Quan to join the Port on a trade mission to China at his annual State of the Port address held at the Hilton Oakland Airport. Before embarking on this trip, Benjamin said, “I very much appreciate Oakland Mayor Quan and City Council President Reid taking the time to join us on this important trade mission. Their presence demonstrates confidence in pro-business opportunities Oakland is offering to our international partners and will enhance our governmental ties between Oakland, the Northern California MegaRegion and key regions in China.”

Based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau, all trade (imports and exports) moving between the Port of Oakland and China in 2010 was valued at more than $14 billion* (*Note: "value" of trade is not Port "income"). That translates into 5.15 billion metric tons of cargo.

ABOUT THE PORT OF OAKLAND: The Port of Oakland oversees the Oakland seaport, Oakland International Airport and 20 miles of waterfront. The Oakland seaport is the fifth busiest container port in the U.S.; Oakland International Airport offers 130 daily flights; and the Port’s real estate includes commercial developments such as Jack London Square and hundreds of acres of public parks and conservation areas. The Port of Oakland was established in 1927 and is an independent department of the City of Oakland. Please visit: www.portofoakland.com.

Media Contacts:

Isaac Kos-Read
Port of Oakland Director of External Affairs
(510) 627-1565
ikos-read@portoakland.com