San Diego World Trade Center (SDWTC) is leading the largest trade mission ever organized to another country in the history of the state of California. The China Trade Mission and Discovery Tour is a joint effort of the World Trade Centers of San Diego, San Francisco Bay Area, Northern California, Oxnard, Los Angeles-Long Beach, and the State of California Business, Transportation and Housing Agency, in cooperation with the US Department of Commerce, the statewide California Trade Partners, and other trade associations. The 113 delegates will learn about economic, political, cultural, and social orientations in China. The trade mission runs from September 16-25, 2005, and lays the foundation for valuable business opportunities for Californians in China and for Chinese in California.

The mission will begin in Beijing with receptions, various business briefings, including a 2008 Beijing Olympic business briefing, and sightseeing, and end in Shanghai, where participants will be among the 600 attendees at the World Trade Centers Association (WTCA) 36th General Assembly.

In an effort to share with the world the “Spirit of California” and promote business in San Diego and California, the ASIA DESK, in partnership with the California World Trade Centers and Shanghai World Trade Center, is sponsoring a reception and dinner for General Assembly delegates, as well as key Chinese government agencies, service providers, and manufacturers/traders, on Thursday night, September 22, at the InterContinental Hotel in Shanghai. Highlights of the event include California products and services displays, the IMAX-produced film “Wild California,” and presentations from key California trade, business, and government leaders. Bella Heule, president/CEO of the San Diego World Trade Center, will serve as event moderator and speakers will include Cen Furong, President of WTC Shanghai; Guy Tozzoli, President WTCA; Eddy Chan, Head of FedEx China; and Ron Roberts, Supervisor, County of San Diego; plus leaders from the Bay Area and Los Angeles-Long Beach World Trade Centers.

Trade mission attendees represent San Diego technical and scientific companies, law firms, financial institutions, trade organizations, the tourist industry, real estate firms, transportation and shipping companies, educational institutions, and the County of San Diego. Several members have accompanied the SDWTC on previous trade missions.

“When thinking about business and industry in California, San Diego is often not the first city that comes to mind but it actually plays a major role in business and commerce with Asia,” explained Scott Wang, director ASIA DESK, San Diego World Trade Center. “San Diego has the only California World Trade Center with an ASIA DESK. Members of the SDWTC include companies that want to conduct business in Asia as well as service providers to help facilitate that business. Mention of China often brings negative thoughts or fear of losing business to China but bridging relationships between the two countries has brought more business and revenue to San Diego.”

“This is the SDWTC’s 11th trade mission to Asia, eight of which will have gone to China, and it’s the largest by far,” continued Mr. Wang. “We have been working with the major California World Trade Centers, trade centers within the United States and China, and have organized a major event at the annual World Trade Centers Association General Assembly to showcase California, and San Diego in particular. We have received major support and participation from the County of San Diego; FedEx; Unified Port of San Diego; San Diego County Regional Airport Authority; San Diego’s oldest law firm, Luce Forward Hamilton & Scripps; San Diego Convention Center Corporation; San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation; high tech companies such as QUALCOMM, Axesstel Wireless, and Quantum Design; and educational institutions such as San Diego State University and University of California San Diego. San Diego is in the prime position to lead and benefit from relationships with China a