Los Angeles Business Journal

L.A. Mayor Heads to China

By Howard Fine Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced Tuesday that he will lead a trade mission to China later this month to focus on boosting Chinese tourism and investment in Los Angeles.

Villaraigosa will travel with executives from Los Angeles World Airports, the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board and the Port of Los Angeles to Beijing from May 26 through May 29. The Port of Los Angeles and Los Angeles World Airports are paying for the $80,000 trip.

“We will be reminding our Chinese friends that when it comes to investment opportunities, shipping, tourism and air travel, they should think of L.A. first,” Villaraigosa said in a statement.

Villaraigosa said the itinerary will include meetings with Air China to encourage more non-stop flights to Los Angeles International Airport. And port officials will meet with China Shipping Co. to market recent expansion efforts at the port.

This will be Villaraigosa’s third trip to China as mayor; the last mission was in 2011. It follows an earlier announcement Tuesday that the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board will open a second office in China – in Shanghai; the first one in Beijing opened in 2006.

Villaraigosa also announced he intends to sign an agreement with the Chinese Real Estate Chamber of Commerce to have the chamber open an office in Los Angeles to facilitate Chinese investment into local real estate development projects.