Gov. Jerry Brown was at Oracle Headquarters in Redwood Shores this morning to sign legislation creating a new department that aims to strengthen economic ties with foreign trading partners.
Assembly Bill 2012 designates the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development -- or "GO-Biz" -- as a central office of contact for economic development between businesses in California and other countries, such as China, Mexico and South Korea.
The bill paves the way for California to officially welcome visiting delegations and re-open the state's foreign trade offices in key trading countries that had to be closed in 2003 due to budget cutbacks.
CEO of the business advocate group Bay Area Council Bill Wunderman said at this morning's signing ceremony that the new GO-Biz office will partner with private California firms wishing to bolster relations with foreign trading partners, and help a variety of businesses in the state form important economic ties with Pacific Rim nations.
"This bill shows that California is open for business," Wunderman said.
Wunderman said that California has the ninth largest economy in the world, and added that strengthening business ties with countries enjoying strong positive growth like China would help stimulate the state's economic growth as well.
"China's economy is growing and growing," Wunderman said. "It would be so wonderful to grow together."
Assembly Speaker John Perez -- one of AB 2012's sponsors -- said that the newly established GO-Biz office will offer a "one-stop shop" for California businesses wanting to foster relationships with overseas entities.
"This is progress, this is economic development," Perez said. "This is what the business community in California has been waiting to enjoy."
Gov. Brown said that California "is embedded in the world economy," and that the bold move to re-open foreign trade offices and encourage international trade and investment will ultimately help California move from economic recovery to economic prosperity.
"We're making progress, folks. We're making progress," Brown said.