July 29, 2013

Boeing moving more engineering jobs to Southern California

Boeing has announced that it will be moving as many as 300 engineering jobs from Washington State to its facility in Long Beach. According to the Seattle Times, about 375 employees are currently doing the aftermarket engineering work on modifying jets for current customers and converting aging passenger jets to freighters work that is expected to move, but some of these jobs are expected to be eliminated.

Boeing has previously announced that the company would establish new engineering centers in Southern California and South Carolina for modifying out-of-production airplanes and that about 300 jobs would be moved to Long Beach This new move, however, involves a separate group of engineers who work on modifications such as aircraft performance upgrades or interior refinishing, as well as the passenger jet-to-freighter conversions.

The Seattle Times quoted Boeing engineering chief Mike Delaney as saying “We expect the Southern California and South Carolina design centers to grow over time,” and that, “We are presently studying other potential work packages” for those centers.

Boeing’s manufacturing facility in Long Beach has a long history. Established by the Douglas Aircraft Company in 1941, during ring its the facility produced more than 15,000 airplanes, including the DC-3, DC-8, DC-9, DC-10, MD-80, MD-90 and MD-11 and 717 passenger planes, as well as such military aircraft like the C-47 the B-17 the A-20, A-26, C-74, C-124, A-4D, C-133 and early models of the C-17. In recent years, however, business has declined and Boeing stopped producing commercial aircraft there entirely in 2006, when the last 717 rolled off the line

The news was both good and unexpected. Southern California has a large number of highly qualified aerospace engineers and Boeing already employs about 1,200 engineers in the area. A decade ago, however, Boeing had 35,000 workers and was the largest private employer in Southern California.

Filed under Aerospace and Aviation by

July 26, 2013

California might benefit from White House Manufacturing Initiative

The Obama Administration has launched a new program called rogram the “Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership” (IMCP) and recently held their first and only meeting in California. This roundtable event in Woodland was sponsored by the White House and the USDA and attracted about 125 people.

As part of a national manufacturing strategy. 25 communities around the country will be awarded $200,000 each to create an implementation strategy for this program. In addition, a half dozen or so communities will be awarded up to $25 million each next year from the U.S. Commerce Department for manufacturing strategies that are ready to be implemented.

According to a report by the California Economic Summit, a public-private partnership group called Innovate North State proposed concentrating on five industries: agriculture, cleantech, health, web and information technology as well as manufacturing. They have identified 100 manufacturing companies in the northern part of the state, and are planning to submit a proposal to the IMCP.

Filed under Economic Development, Manufacturing, U.S. Government by

July 25, 2013

California shark fin ban now in effect

California’s law that prohibits the sale, possession, trade, or distribution of shark fins went into full effect on the first of this month ending the Chinese custom of serving shark fin soup in California restaurants.

The legislation went into effect in January, but had exemptions allowing the sale of previously obtained shark fins until the end of June. Anyone now caught violating the law could face a penalty of up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

the law caused a controversy between environmentalists, concerned about the declining shark population and some Chinese-Americans, who want to continue to honor this Chinese tradition. The soup is an expensive delicacy, has been popular in China since the Ming Dynasty, and is often served during weddings, banquets and other Asian ceremonies.

As reported in the Los Angeles Times, however, it is thought that close to 73 million sharks are killed for their fins each year. Many, are obtained by the process of finning – slicing the fins from live sharks and throwing the disabled animals back into the ocean, where they drown. The market for shark meat is nowhere as great as for the fins, the Times reported, and demand for the fins has reduced some shark populations to 10% of historical levels.

Filed under Agriculture and Food, China, Environment and Climate by

July 24, 2013

California Food and Agriculture Head to lead Trade Mission to Vietnam and China.

State food and agriculture secretary Karen Ross will lead a trade delegation to China and Vietnam in September, according to a press release issued by the California Deparment of Food and Agriculture. She will be leading an agricultural trade delegation to China and Vietnam from September 16-21, 2013, as part of the California State Trade and Export Promotion program.

This mission will visit Shanghai and Ho Chi Minh City with the goal of providing export business opportunities for California farmers, ranchers and food processors. The new California-China Trade and Investment Office in Shanghai, opened by Governor Brown during his trade mission, will help coordinate this mission by facilitating links between California businesses and Chinese counterparts who have shown interests in purchasing California products.

Funding for this trade mission will come from a grant administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Companies interested in participating in the trade mission should contact the Fresno Center for International Trade Development at (559) 324-6401or visit www.fresnocitd.org, The full press release can be read at this link:


Filed under Agriculture and Food, China, Vietnam by

December 4, 2012

Made in California legislation introduced

Senate Majority Leader Ellen Corbett has introduced legislation to create a “Made in California” program that would allow manufacturers to better market goods produced in Californiam=, according to a report in the
Sacramento Business Journal. Modeled after the successful “California Grown” program, which highlights agriculture products produced in California, the legislation would extend that marketing strategy to all goods produced in the state.

Filed under California Government, California Legislature, Manufacturing by

December 3, 2012

Golden Gate Ventures forms Strategic Alliance For Asian Startups

Venture Capital firm Golden Gate Ventures and JFDI.Asia have announced a new strategic alliance that will focus on supporting early-stage digital startups, according to a report in TechCrunch. The program will include intensive mentoring from both early-stage funding specialists to help companies gain market traction.

Golden Gate Ventures has offices in Singapore and San Francisco operates a seed investment program for digital start-up companies that have already launched. Based in Singapore, JFDI.Asia’s accelerator “bootcamp” program takes teams of entrepreneurs from idea to investment in 100 days.

Golden Gate Ventures co-founders Vinnie Lauria, Jeff Paine and Paul Bragiel have joined JFDI.Asia’s bootcamp as mentors. Lauria said in a joint statement that “the next billion people are coming online in our region. It’s a huge opportunity and an equally huge pool of talent in the region is set to make the most of it.” Hugh Mason, co-founder of JFDI.Asia, said that he hopes the partnership will be “the first of several alliances with key partners across the region who share our ambition to support the coming generation of digital success stories across Asia, for Asia.”

Filed under Asia, Singapore, Venture Capital by

December 2, 2012

Concerned about a brain drain, Taiwan recruiting California students

Taiwan’s minister of education, Wei-Ling Chiang, traveled to California in October, and one of the issues he addressed was and imbalance in the numbers of university students being exchanged by each country. “Just 3,561 American-born students are enrolled in Taiwanese universities, while about 24,000 Taiwanese students enroll in universities in the U.S,” Chiang said. “We really have to address the situation now.” According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, Taiwanese education officials are renewing their efforts to enroll more international students and have opened a dozen Taiwanese college information centers have opened in nine countries in the last few years.

Taiwan’s university recruiters have begun to target a new demographic according to the report: the Taiwanese American teenager. The pitch was perhaps more attractive to parents of the second- and third-generation Taiwanese American students who were the targets of the enrollment push. “Your children will enjoy a high quality education while learning about Taiwan’s culture,” said Chiang, a Stanford graduate. About a thousand people attended the first Taiwanese education fair in the U.S., held in October at the Chinese Cultural Center in El Monte that had been advertiseed in local Chinese language radio and television stations.

While their children didn’t always agree, the idea of a Taiwanese education appealed to parents who believe their children will graduate into a job market increasingly dominated by Asian languages and businesses.

Filed under Education and Training, Taiwan by

December 1, 2012

California marks 100 years of rice growing

California recently celebrated its 100th year of rice growing according to an AP report and the California Rice Commission. Farmers began experimenting with growing rice during the Gold Rush more than 160 years ago after being introduced in California by Chinese gold miners, who later built the state’s railroads and river levees. It wasn’t until 1912, however, that the first commercial production started in Butte County, in the Sacramento Valley about 70 miles north of the state capital. Since then, California has become the nation’s largest producer of short- and medium-grain sticky rice, with much of the product shipped to Japan and other Asian countries through the Port of West Sacramento. Most sushi in the U.S. is made with California rice, the report which can be read in full at this link: http://www.thereporter.com/ci_22062619. The website for the California Rice Commission is at http://www.calrice.org/ and contains a wealth of information about the State’s rice industry, along with guest blogs from California rice farmers.

Filed under Agriculture and Food by

November 26, 2012

USAID awards UC Berekley $20 million for Global Development Initiative

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has awarded $20 million to the University California Berkley to fund a new multidisciplinary lab to prepare inventions for the developing world, train development practitioners and innovators, and launch a new field of research called “Development Engineering”. The funding is part of USAID’s Higher Education Solutions Network, a new initiative that was recently launched to leverage faculty and student ingenuity at U.S. and foreign research universities to help fight global poverty, according to a press release from the University.

Berkeley’s new Development Impact Lab (DIL) will be located in the Blum Center for Developing Economies and will utilize mobile technologies to improve health care, expand communications services in remote areas, improve access to safe water and deliver new energy technologies. “We recognized that the Blum Center represented something special: a center for deep analysis and broad engagement that not only generates new ideas, but also tests and applies real-world solutions,” USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah said on campus last month. “In fact, we’ve admired it so much that it is now the model for a network of development laboratories we’re forming across the country”.

Filed under International Development, U.S. Government by

October 22, 2012

China investment in California predicted to soar

China’s direct foreign investment in developing economies is on the increase, and California could be uniquely situated to benefit from this, according to a report by Rhodium Group, a New York based economic think tank.

Already, about $1.3 billion of Chinese money has flowed into the California from 2000 to 2011, and this amount to increase to between $10 billion and $60 billion by the year 2020. “Just as Chinese exports exploded in the last decade—from $250 billion in 2000 to nearly $2 trillion by 2011—China’s OFDI is poised to skyrocket in the years ahead”, according to the report.

It went on to conclude. “California, with its long history with China, the most sizable Chinese American population in the country, and more inward investment deals from China than any other state, is in a position to lead the nation in attracting Chinese investment in the decade to come”. The full report can be downloaded from a link on this page:


Filed under California Economy, China, Economic Development by

September 25, 2012

California Plans to Reopen International Trade Offices

Governor Brown signed legislation in September that will open some international trade offices for the State. The legislation authorizes the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development — also called GO-Biz — to work with nonprofit organizations to operate these offices, using state funds or private donations, according to a report in the San Francisco Daily Times. GO-Biz will partner with the Bay Area Council and hope raise a million dollars by the end of the year for this purpose. It is probably that a trade office in Mexico will be the next priority of this program.

At one time, California had twelve offices in various parts of the world but these were shut down in 2003 for numerous reasons: questions about their effectiveness, mismanagment and political corruption, questions, a scandle involving fabricated “success stories”, and the budget crises of the time.

Govern Brown had previously announced his intention to reopen ab outpost in Shanghai to promote trade and commerce with California. “The office will encourage direct investment and further strengthen existing ties between the world’s second and ninth-largest economies,” Brown said in statement before meeting Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping in Los Angeles in February.

Filed under Economic Development, Foreign Relations by

August 26, 2012

Startup California Launches

A new initiative for startup companies has recently launched in California. Startup California is part of the Obama administration “Startup America” initiative, and is being overseen by the private sector component of that initiative “Startup America Partners”. From their press release:

Along with the resources Startup America Partnership offers entrepreneurs nationally, Startup California will focus on breaking down silos across communities and uniting entrepreneurs, corporations, universities, foundations, and other California leaders, to work in concert with a wide range of local and state resources that can dramatically increase the prevalence and success of the California startup ecosystem. Startup California is on a mission to increase the number and scale of new high-growth firms in order to create economic growth, innovation and quality new jobs in the state.

“Startup companies drive the economy, and we think business leaders and policy makers should view these startups as the proverbial canaries in the coal mine – a willingness to experience business danger without compromise. They can alert us to opportunities that can fuel our economy for decades to come. But, they also can highlight looming challenges that stifle growth,” said Ash Kumra, Startup California Champion and Co-Leader.

For more information about Startup America, please visit their website at http://startupcalifornia.org

Filed under Small Business by

March 31, 2011

Stanford to open center in China

As reported in the San Jose Business Journal, Sanford University plans an early 2012 opening for a center in Beijing that will serve as a headquarters for faculty and students conducting research in China and as an impetus for more collaboration between Asian and American scholars. The $5 million project will be paid for entirely from gifts made to the Stanford.

The Stanford Center at Peking University will be an architectural combination of east and west, according to university officials. A presentation on the new facility by Coit Blacker, director of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford, is scheduled Thursday for members of the university’s Faculty Senate.
Seven university departments — including the School of Medicine’s Asian Liver Center, the Bing Overseas Studies Program and the Center for Sustainable Development and Global Competitiveness — have committed to establishing a presence at the new center.

“China’s position as a global economic leader means that the university should be at the forefront of helping our students and faculty better understand the country’s policies, culture and views while at the same time forging intellectual ties with its brightest and most important thinkers,” Stanford President John Hennessy said in a statement.

Read more

Filed under China, Education and Training by

March 29, 2011

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke Takes Export Tour to Los Angeles

From the U.S. Department of Commerce blog:

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke traveled to Los Angeles, Calif., today for the second stop of the New Markets, New Jobs small business outreach tour.  Joined by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and USC Marshall School of Business Dean James G. Ellis, Locke discussed the importance of exports to America’s economic recovery and job creation, and the resources that the government is providing to connect local small- and medium-sized businesses with foreign buyers, especially those from the Asia-Pacific markets, in order to help them sell more overseas and hire more at home.  

Announced on the one-year anniversary of President Obama’s National Export Initiative, New Markets, New Jobs is a year-long, interagency, multi-city outreach campaign designed to proactively bring government services to businesses across the country that are interested in exporting.  The tour was launched in Minneapolis in February, and will continue on to New Orleans, Louisiana in April and Wilmington, Delaware in May.

Filed under China, Education and Training by

January 25, 2011

California Unemployment still going up – now at 12.5 percent

The California unemployment rate rose to 12.5 percent in December, up from 12.4 percent the previous month, The Los Angeles Times noted. California’s unemployment rate is now among the highest in the country, trumping the national unemployment rate by nearly 2 percent. California employers added just 4,900 jobs in December, the Employment Development Department reported, after adding 30,500 the month prior. The biggest losses were seen in the government sector, which shed 15,400 jobs. Overall, California has added a total of 87,500 jobs in 2010. The openings came mostly from professional and business services; education and health; and leisure and hospitality. Although the additions are not enough to lower the unemployment rate, it is an improvement compared to 2009 when the state lost 836,000 positions.

Filed under California Economy by

January 22, 2011

Grameen America to open California branch with Cheveron, Wells Fargo investments

Chevron Corporation has committed $1 million to Grameen America to fund the launch of its West Coast branch in the San Francisco Bay Area. Grameen America plans to help as many as 250 local borrowers and distributing more than $300,000 in microloans the first year of operation through its Bay Area branch. Grameen America will target low-income clients who cannot access traditional credit.

Since 2009, Chevron has committed $7 million each year through the California Partnership, increasing Chevron’s overall investment in the state to approximately $28 million year-over-year. Chevron has also partnered with Kiva.org and the Opportunity Fund to help support entrepreneurs in California and around the world.

“The economic slowdown has made it especially difficult to secure funding for Bay Area small businesses and entrepreneurs, often a catalyst for job creation and economic growth for the state,” said Stephen Vogel, CEO of Grameen America. “Chevron’s support will help hundreds of entrepreneurs realize their dreams of starting their own businesses.”

In addition to the investment by Cheveron, San Francisco based Wells Fargo has also invested $1 million into Grameen America to support the nonprofit microlender’s expansion into the Bay Area.

Filed under Banking and Financial Services by

January 21, 2011

UCLA Forecast cautiously optimistic about California Economy

Economic activity is increasing across a number of important sectors in California, according to the latest UCLA Anderson Forecast for California. The outlook for an expansion of the workforce shows momentum building into 2012, according to economic models presented by UCLA Professor and Senior Economist Jerry Nickelsburg. He suggested that statewide unemployment would drop to 11.4% by the end of this year and 10.3% in 2012. It is presently, 12.4% “The forecast also suggested that the unemployment rate for some of the hi-tech driven coastal communities could fall as low as 8.5% next year, and to 7.4 percent in 2012.” Professor Nickelsburg reported that job creation has been positive, especially in coastal California, for much of the calendar year, while inland communities are still under high unemployment pressure. However, job creation still remains below levels expected in a well-functioning job market. Even with a large deficit, looming record pension debt, and high unemployment, “California is economically much better off than the 10 most populous states – maybe even Texas,” Nickelsburg also indicated that the data does not support the mass exodus of businesses to other states outside California, which is suggested may be a myth.

Filed under California Economy by

January 19, 2011

California Wines Marketing Campaign Launched

The Wine Institute, a California Trade Group, has launched a new global marketing campaign intended to boost California wine exports. Using the tagline “Discover California Wines” the campaign will incorporates images of the state’s famous landmarks and will feature print advertising, brochures, video and trade show attendance. The campaign is scheduled to debut at several 2011 events, including The London International Wine Fair, Vinexpo and the California Wines European Spring Tour.

The Wine Institute—which manages its own international marketing and shipping export program—will provide campaign materials to winemakers, importers, retailers and restaurateurs actively pushing California wine overseas. “The ‘Discover California Wines’ campaign gives our international representatives the tools they need to build California wine sales exponentially around the globe,” said Robert Koch, president and CEO of The Wine Institute. “We’re setting an ambitious goal of more than doubling California/U.S. wine exports to $2 billion by 2022.”

Filed under Agriculture and Food, Wine by

January 13, 2011

California Exports Surging, but not adding to Job Growth

In November, Calilifornia posted its 13th consecutive month of year-over-year increases in export trade according to Beacon Economics, which analyzed foreign trade data from the U.S. Commerce Department. California businesses shipped abroad in November $12.49 billion in goods, exceeding by 14.1 percent the $10.95 billion shipped in November 2009. It was California’s best November ever in inflation-adjusted terms, Jock O’Connell, Beacon Economics’ international trade adviser, said in a news release.

The good news was tempered somewhat by the fact that California did not quite keep pace with the nation as a whole which boosted its merchandise exports by 19.4 percent. Also, California has a relatively high percentage of re-exports, which are items previously imported into the United States that have had no significant value added prior to being shipped abroad. “California’s numerous trading companies do a superb job sourcing goods from around the world and matching them with foreign customers,” O’Connell said. “That’s why California’s re-export trade leaped by 36.3 percent in November.” Exports of goods manufactured in California, meanwhile, increased just 6.7 percent. Overall U.S. manufactured exports, in contrast, jumped 16.7 percent, O’Connell reported.

California made up 11.1 percent of all U.S. merchandise exports in November, but just 9.6 percent of its manufactured exports, Beacon reported. California’s exports of nonmanufactured goods represented 12.4 percent of the nation’s exports of those goods, but fully 19.8 percent of the nation’s shipments of re-exported goods came from California.

As a result, California’s export trade has a less immediate positive impact on the state’s economy and on its propensity for job creation, O’Connell said. “California manufacturers have become exceptionally efficient in increasing output without adding new hires,” O’Connell said in the release. “And the goods they produce tend to be of increasingly higher value. That’s why it is possible for the value of our manufactured exports to rise without there being a commensurate level of job growth.”

That also explains why California lost 4,400 manufacturing jobs between November 2010 and November 2009, based on seasonally adjusted numbers from the California Employment Development Department, despite California adding 110,900 jobs overall, O’Connell said.

Filed under California Economy, Freight and Logistics by

September 5, 2010

Governor Schwarzenegger leading Trade Mission to South Korea

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger will be leading a trade mission to South Korea, next week,  from Sept. 12-16. The purpose of this trip is to showcase California goods and services, promote tourism and the expansion of trade between California and South Korea. The trip is being organized by the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and will be will be organizing a number of business opportunities throughout the trade mission to allow California companies participating in the mission to connect with key business and government decision makers.

South Korea is California’s 5th largest trading partner, a press release by the Chamber notes. It is one of the fastest growing economies in the world today. Its economy relies heavily on exports to prosper. The following are some of the sectors that the Korean market demands more products from: automotive, broadcasting, communication and computer technologies, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals/nutritional supplements, and environmental technology, education and training services.

Filed under Business Associations, California Government, South Korea by

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