Southern California is a bastion of international trade. In fact, international trade activity is building to record levels in 2007, despite slower growth in the U.S. economy, according to a new study released by the World Trade Center Association Los Angeles-Long Beach.
"A piece of good news is that exports out of the customs district should continue to grow rapidly, rising by 14.9 percent, due to the weakness in the U.S. dollar combined with favorable economic conditions in the region's major trading partners," says Kyser.
The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach retained their number-one ranking among the nation's ports in number of containers handled during 2006. The twin ports ranked fifth globally in container activity. And the Los Angeles Customs District retained its first-place ranking in the United States in total two-way trade value. China and Japan are Los Angeles's top trading partners. "The passage of bond proposal last fall provides resources for the urgently needed infrastructure projects in the region," said Vance Baugham, president of the World Trade Center Association Los Angeles-Long Beach.
But it's not all about the ports and the status as "gateway to the Pacific Rim." California's time zone is reasonable for communication purposes with Asian nations and bilingual talent is readily available, says Loo. "Southern California continues to attract foreign investment," he says. "It's the place of choice for many foreign companies because it's a great place to work, the labor is relatively inexpensive and there is a wealth of immigrants from around the world."