SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee flew to China on Friday where he’ll court Chinese banks for a housing development loan as well as a Chinese airline for new flights to San Francisco International Airport.

Lee and his entourage of civic leaders and city officials will spend eight full days in China meeting with business and government leaders there.

He hopes to foster a business relationship with China Southern Airlines, one of their big three airlines into establishing direct flights to SFO.

Also on the agenda is showing off some of San Francisco’s wares and products including; rickshaw messenger bags, customized and made from Rickshaw Bag Works, iPad cases by DODOcase, and Tcho Chocolate.

Lee is interested in exporting these local made goods from San Francisco companies to China.

“Trying to create, through both the sister city committees as well as business connections, an ongoing economic relationship that has everything from student exchanges to medical research exchanges and now, business investments,” he explained.

Still in the works is a possible meeting with the China Development Bank. Lennar, the builder that’s developing housing at the old Hunter’s Point Shipyard, is trying to get a $1.7 billion loan from the state owned bank and Mayor Lee hopes to push the process along.

This is Mayor Lee’s first official trip to China as Mayor of San Francisco and he already has two other on his 2013 itinerary.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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