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Jerry Brown woos Xi, Chinese companies

February 17, 2012 |  2:05 pm

As he helped squire Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping around Southern California, Gov. Jerry Brown announced Friday that the state would open two trade offices in China and proposed setting up a task force with the Communist government there to improve trade and investment.

In a letter to Xi released Friday, the governor made clear he is talking about Chinese investments in the Golden State rather than just helping California businesses pour more money -- and jobs -- into the fast-growing nation.

"It is my hope that during your trip to Los Angeles you will not only feel warmly welcomed, but also that we together will be able to seize this special opportunity to begin a productive discussion on how to stimulate substantial new trade opportunities and flows of investment from China into California," Brown wrote.

Earlier Friday, Brown announced the state would open two trade offices, one in Beijing and the other in Shanghai.

The offices, he said in a statement, will be financed by the private sector with state help.

The state closed a dozen foreign trade offices in 2003 after an analysis found they were not cost-effective.


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Photo: From left, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, China Shipping Chairman Li Shaode, Chinese Vice President Xi Jingping and Gov. Jerry Brown at the Port of Los Angeles on Thursday. Credit: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times