Increase global connectedness

If L.A. County were a nation, it would be the 19th largest economy in the world.*

By measure of GDP alone, L.A. County would be larger than Sweden, Argentina, Saudi Arabia and Belgium.*

There are an estimated 10,378 foreign-owned firms in Southern California, creating over 400,000 jobs and over 5% of the region’s workforce. This also equals wages of almost $27 billion.

Over 220 languages are spoken in L.A. County

Los Angeles hosts 65 Career and 38 Honorary Consulates, providing direct access to international markets.

Los Angeles County is clearly the nation’s central connection hub between regional, national and international markets. With international industry leadership in entertainment, hospitality, and cleantech, and with cultural assets and diversity, the county is poised to be the nation’s leading center for international trade and foreign investment.

The value of two-way trade passing through the Los Angeles Customs District totaled $398 billion in 2016, leading New York’s second-place total by $41 billion.

L.A. County has the proof of its global position and is ready to accommodate the growing commerce among the world’s economies.

* LAEDC Economic Forecast & Industry Outlook, February 2018

Goal 6 Lead Partner

Featured Voices

iDream Space is building bridges between Chinese and American companies by providing a unique one-stop service for its members. According to iDream Space CEO, Abo Wei, there are many challenges of transitioning from best practices of business operations in China to conducting business in the US. As being the gateway to all of Asia, the LA region was selected as an asset to serve iDream Space clients with thorough vetting of business service providers in the area.

Abo Wei, iDream Space CEO

Goal 6 Objectives and Strategies

Attract and retain high quality foreign direct investment (FDI).

A. Conduct an FDI study for the region to get a true understanding of the impact of international investment to the Los Angeles regional economy, and obtain feedback from current foreign investors on how to retain and secure more investments from abroad.

B. Conduct a “needs assessment” to identify the industries and companies the region should attract and work with private/public sector organizations to identify, target and recruit foreign companies.

C. Encourage public/private partnerships to fund and execute region-wide FDI attraction programs.

D. Use regional EB-5 investment centers to attract greater foreign investment for local job creation.

Coordinate existing trade services in the region.

A. Create a trade services collective with regional trade and investment assistance service organizations to pool resources, attract foreign firms, coordinate trade and investment services, and establish a centralized physical or virtual (web-based) location where these services could be accessed easily.

B. Educate more businesses about “how to export” and provide assistance services in an effort to increase the number of export-ready small, medium and large businesses.

C. Increase awareness and utilization of existing funding mechanisms such as the State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) Grants and the Market Development Coordinator Program from the Department of Commerce as a way to increase export opportunities.

Coordinate international trade mission and delegation system.

A. Create a centralized intake and vetting system for international delegations visitng the L.A. region as a way of streamlining serivces offered by regional partners.

B. Provide matchmaking and networking opportunities between local and international businesses.

C. Coordinate recruitment of local companies for trade missions with regional partners across different sectors to increase export opportunities.

D. Establish Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) agreements with key consulates and foreign trade offices to help local businesses and trade organizations to identify potential business, industry and government partners abroad.

Establish a marketing/promotion program for L.A. County.

A. Create a five-year plan outlining how the region can target selected domestic/international trade shows that focus on targeted industry clusters to attract FDI and increase exports. Use trade conferences in L.A. County as showcase opportunities to international investors and buyers.

B. Create a database of regional services, public assets, and best practices of foreign investment in the L.A. region to help market Los Angeles County as a prime location for FDI and International trade.

C. Market the region’s cultural diversity to attract and retain international students and enterprises.

Data & Metrics

Each goal can be measured by key indicators of success. These include many factors – micro-inputs and macro-inputs. However, we view it as critically important to have accurate information to gauge current conditions, working with our partners to reach desired outcomes in improving quality of life, business conditions, and, making that data readily available.

See our full and growing list of metrics in Measuring Success, and contact us to learn more.

  • Total Exports from Los Angeles Customs District
  • Number of Passengers Arriving at LAX
  • Number of Passengers Departing at LAX