Trade, investment and economic development are on the agenda for a trip to Southeast Asia as Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia leads a delegation from the Port of Long Beach to discuss commercial opportunities and strengthen international ties with high-ranking government and business leaders.
Over nine days, the delegation will visit Singapore; Phnom Penh, Cambodia; and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, to sit down with Port of Long Beach customers, industry organizations and trade officials for a series of meetings aimed at attracting and retaining more business.
The Port of Long Beach had its best year on record in 2018 due to strong international partnerships and relationships.
The trip also marks the first time that a sitting Long Beach mayor has visited Cambodia. Long Beach has the largest concentration of Cambodians of any city outside of Cambodia.
“Long Beach and Cambodia are united by our culture and our people,” Garcia said. “We must work to strengthen that bond by increasing trade and tourism, and creating jobs for Long Beach.”
While in Cambodia, Garcia will sign a memorandum of understanding to renew the sister city relationship between Long Beach and Cambodia’s capital city of Phnom Penh. The partnership was established in October 1993, when both sides agreed to promote international goodwill, exchange ideas and improve trade relations between the two cities and their respective countries.
The delegation will also meet with Cambodian government officials representing transportation, commerce, tourism and economics, along with representatives from the United States Embassy.
“The Long Beach-Phnom Penh Sister Cities chapter is honored to welcome Mayor Robert Garcia to Cambodia,” said Monorom Neth, President of Long Beach-Phnom Penh Sister Cities. “We commend Mayor Robert Garcia for making this historic trip and for his commitment to our Cambodian community. We are excited to strengthen the bond among our communities.”
Prior to Garcia’s arrival in Asia, the delegation stopped in Singapore, home of the world’s second-busiest seaport, to meet with representatives from Ocean Network Express, the global shipping company that started bringing its bright magenta cargo containers to Long Beach just last year.
“The continued economic growth of Cambodia and Vietnam creates a strong potential for increasing trade through the Port of Long Beach,” said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Tracy Egoscue. “We are looking forward to building new alliances and strengthening existing relationships with our partners in Southeast Asia.”
Garcia will join the Port delegation in Cambodia and Vietnam to establish working relationships with government and industry leaders, in an effort to increase trade between Long Beach and these rapidly emerging markets. Long Beach is the second-busiest seaport in the United States and supports about 300,000 jobs across Southern California.
“Trade with Asia allows the Long Beach economy to thrive, and a personal exchange of ideas will bond our communities closer together,” Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero said. “This trip will solidify the cultural and economic ties between Long Beach and our Asian partners for years to come.”