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“Welcome to L.A.” foreign investor event celebrated LA economy

By March 23, 2015 No Comments



Los Angeles captures attention of foreign investors en route to Washington D.C., by hosting “Welcome to LA: Gateway to the USA” Reception and Conference for SelectUSA delegates


The City of Los Angeles Mayor’s Office, LAEDC, World Trade Center-Los Angeles, BizFed, LABC and sponsors took the opportunity to host the first-ever Welcome to LA: Gateway to the USA conference March 19-20 to encourage foreign direct investment (FDI) in the L.A. region, an important driver of regional job creation.  Welcome to LA was a prelude to the second SelectUSA Summit in Washington D.C., and was well attended by more than hundred international investors who were on their way to SelectUSA, and chose to stop over in Los Angeles to learn more about the region and network with more than a hundred other LA area leaders.

A reception at Universal Studios and an all-day speaker program at JW Marriot – LA Live highlighted reasons why L.A. County provides the best return on investment.  Investors gained candid and compelling perspectives from a vital group of speakers, including leaders from government, business and academia.

Pictures from the event (below) provide a quick recap of the event. 

Outside Universal’s Globe Theater where the reception took place (L to R):
Bill Allen – CEO of LAEDC, Steve Olson – Partner, O’Melveny & Myers LLP, Eric Garcetti – Mayor, City of Los Angeles, Arun Kumar – Director General, US & Foreign Commercial Service, Steve Nissen – SVP, NBC Universal, John Gibbs – SVP, Comcast
Hosted by City of Los Angeles, LAEDC, and World Trade Center-Los Angeles
Thanks to the Sponsors: 

Reception and Conference Pictures 



Michael D. Antonovich, Mayor of L.A. County Board of Supervisors welcomed all to L.A. County


Eric Garcetti, Mayor of the City of Los Angeles  spoke to the audience over lunch about what makes LA unique and compelling
R. Rex Parris, Mayor, City of Lancaster reminded the audience that there are 88 cities in L.A. County ready to help foreign investors locate and succeed in our region
Curren Price, Councilman, City of LA was among elected leaders to kick off the event
  Kish Rajan, Director of Govenor’s Office of Business and Economic Development  discussed California’s attractiveness to investors
Steve Olson, Co-Chair of LAEDC’s World Trade Committee,  Partner at O’Melveny & Myers   LLP and Chaired the Conference Planning Committee  introduced City of L.A. Mayor Garcetti


Panel discussions gave attendees a sense for why L.A. is the world’s creative capital, the top county in the U.S. for tech-sector jobs, the U.S. manufacturing capital, the U.S. capital for international trade, a place of great cultural diversity, and an unmatched region for workforce and innovation.
The panels:

The session, “Why Los Angeles: CEO Perspectives on Investing and Operating in the LA Area,” included (L to R) Moderator Steve Olson – Partner, O’Melveny & Myers LLP, Ted Craver – CEO, Edison International, Russell Goldsmith – CEO, City National Bank, Chance Barnett – CEO, Crowdfunder, and Chris Martin – CEO, AC Martin

The real estate panel included (L to R) moderator Lew Horne – President, CBRE Southern California, Ray Chan – General Manager, LA Dept. of Building and Safety, Nadine Watt – President, Watt Companies, Noor Menai – President & CEO, CTBC Bank, and I Fei Chang – President, Greenland USA


The session, “LA’s Position at the Intersection of Entertainment and Technology,” included (L to R)  Peter Rice, Chairman & CEO, Fox Networks Group, Malik Ducard – Global Head of Family and Learning, YouTube, Larry Kurzweil – President & COO, Universal Studios Hollywood, and moderator Rick Jacobs – Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti


The Manufacturing Panel included (L to R) moderator Stephen Cheung – Newly named President  of the World Trade Center  Los Angeles, Steven Dai – CEO, International Vitamin Corp (IVC), Lynne Koplin – President, JBrand Jeans, Willie Zuniga – President, Grifols Biologicals, and Stella Li, President, BYD Motors



The session, “LA’s Talent Advantage: A Higher Education Panel,” included (L to R) moderator Bill Allen – CEO, LAEDC, Fred Farina – CIO, Caltech, Edward E. Leamer – Director, UCLA Anderson Forecast, Dianne Harrison – President, California State University Northridge, Erika Endrijonas – President, Los Angeles Valley College, and Qingyun Ma – Dean, USC School of Architecture
The Minions didn’t seem to be on the RSVP list, and they acted like the owned the place!  Oh wait, it was Universal Studios…
For additional photos from the Welcome to LA Reception and Conference, please visit the LAEDC Flickr page including our photostream. 


“Welcome to LA: Gateway to the USA” reception and conference for SelectUSA delegates in March 2015

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and leading Los Angeles area business organizations  hosted high level business delegations from China, Japan, Korea, Mexico and other regions including Hong Kong and Taiwan for a VIP invitation-only welcome reception and an all day conference March 19 and 20, 2015 to demonstrate how the Greater Los Angeles area serves as the ideal platform for companies looking to invest in the United States.

The delegations visited the United States to attend the second ever Select USA Summit in Washington, DC. March 22-24, 2015. With its leadership position attracting trade, visitors, students and investment, Los Angeles has become the Gateway to the USA for many of America’s leading trade and investment partners throughout the globe. As a follow up to his recent missions to Asia and Mexico, Mayor Garcetti asked the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation, the Los Angeles Business Council, and the LA County Business Federation to join him in welcoming several hundred visiting business leaders and communicate how the business, educational and cultural resources of the Greater LA region can enable foreign investors to grow their business successfully in the U.S. and throughout the Western Hemisphere.

Los Angeles welcomed visiting investors at an exclusive VIP reception on Thursday evening, March 19, 2015. Then on Friday, March 20, 2015, Los Angeles hosted an all-day invitation-only conference on the opportunities and resources available in Southern California to international investors. Presenters included high profile business, government and education leaders in the region and both networking and one on one matchmaking sessions were offered for international investors to meet directly with potential LA area partners.

Investors from China, Japan, Korea, Mexico and other regions attended the “Welcome to LA: Gateway to the USA” reception and conference.

After the Los Angeles event has concluded, the delegaties traveled to Washington, DC on Saturday, March 21 and attended the second Select USA Summit hosted by President Obama on March 22-24 where they joined more than 2,000 other investors from countries throughout the world to explore the many benefits of investing in the United States. Additional information on the Select USA Summit may be found at  LAEDC’s news release is HERE.

RECAP of the Agenda for the Welcome to LA: Gateway to the USA Summit*

 Friday, March 20, 2015
7:00AM – 8:00AM Registration and Continental Breakfast
8:00AM – 9:00AM Welcome Remarks – Local Elected Officials and Ambassadors
·         Michael Antonovich, Chairman, LA County Board of Supervisors
·         R. Rex Parris, Mayor, City of Lancaster
·         Kish Rajan, Director, CA Governor’s Office of Business and Economic DevelopmentMC: Bill Allen, CEO, LAEDC
9:00AM – 10:15AM Plenary Session 1 – Why Los Angeles: CEO Perspectives on Investing and Operating in the LA Area
·       Chance Barnett, CEO, Crowdfunder
·       Ted Craver, CEO, Edison International
·       Russell Goldsmith, CEO, City National Bank
·       Chris Martin, CEO, AC MartinModerator: Steve Olson, Partner, O’Melveny & Myers LLP
10:15AM – 10:30AM Coffee/Tea Break
10:30AM – 11:45AM Morning Breakout Sessions
Real Estate Panel

  • Ray Chan, General Manager, LA Dept. of Building and Safety
  • I Fei Chang, President, Greenland USA
  • Noor Menai, President & CEO, CTBC Bank
  • Nadine Watt, President, Watt Companies

Moderator: Lew Horne, President, CBRE Southern California

Manufacturing Panel

  • Steven Dai, CEO, IVC
  • Lynne Koplin, President, JBrand Jeans
  • Stella Li, President, BYD Motors
  • Willie Zuniga, President, Grifols Biologicals

Moderator: Stephen Cheung, Director of International Trade, Port of Los Angeles

11:45AM – 1:00PM


Keynote Speaker: Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti

1:00PM – 2:00PM Plenary Session 2 – LA’s Position at the Intersection of Entertainment and Technology

  • Malik Ducard, Global Head of Family and Learning, YouTube
  • Larry Kurzweil, President & COO, Universal Studios Hollywood
  • Peter Rice, Chairman & CEO, Fox Networks Group

Moderator: Rick Jacobs, Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti

 2:00PM – 2:20PM  Guest Speaker: Arun Kumar, Assistant Secretary of Global Markets, U.S. Dept. of Commerce
2:30PM – 3:20PM Afternoon Breakout Sessions

Matchmaking Meetings

Special Interest Sessions

3:30PM – 4:25PM LA’s Talent Advantage: A Higher Education Panel with University Presidents

  • Erika Endrijonas, President, Los Angeles Valley College
  • Fred Farina, CIO, California Institute of Technology
  • Dianne Harrison, President – California State University Northridge
  • Edward E. Leamer, Director, UCLA Anderson Forecast
  • Qingyun Ma, Dean, USC School of Architecture

Moderator: Bill Allen, CEO, LAEDC

4:25PM – 4:30PM Conference Closing Remarks
4:30PM – 5:30PM Networking Reception



Membership with the LAEDC

Membership helps support a strong regional economy, raises your profile as a good steward in the region, and fosters engagement with elected officials, leading companies and educational institutions.

Your support of the LAEDC enables us to continue our non-profit mission of attracting and retaining jobs and businesses in LA County, essential to thriving communities and strong families.

Please visit our website for more details

or email  [email protected], Vice President of Strategic Relations



For additional photos from the Welcome to LA Reception and Conference, please visit the LAEDC Flickr page including our photostream. 

For more information or photos of the event, contact Lawren Markle, Director of Public Relations and Marketing for LAEDC at [email protected]



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