OAKLAND (KCBS) – The increasingly gourmet tastes of China’s upwardly mobile population are an opportunity for Oakland to grow more business at the only U.S. port that already exports as much as it imports, Mayor Jean Quan said Friday.
“We’re really excited that the Chinese, as their economy improves, is (sic) starting to buy wines, organic foods, other products from California and a lot of them come through the Port of Oakland,” she said.
KCBS’ Holly Quan Reports:
Quan set off Friday with 11 other port executives and city officials to a country that granted her unexpected celebrity when she became the first Chinese American elected as mayor of a major U.S. city.
The 6-day trade mission includes stops in Beijing, Shenzen and Hong Kong to meet with big investment groups.
The mayor said she would emphasize planned infrastructure upgrades that will let the port better exploit its proximity to Central Valley farmland.
“Some of the Chinese are interested in exporting more food,” Quan said.
To that end, shipping companies have sought more dockside cold storage facilities for agricultural products; construction, Quan said, often involved too much paperwork.
The Hong Kong stop will include a stop at a Hong Kong bar set up by a consortium of East Bay wineries to sell California wine.
Quan’s agenda also includes promoting tourism in San Francisco and wine country. She wants to establish a direct flight route between China and Oakland International Airport.
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