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This week I am in Thailand and Japan for an important business and trade development trip with Harbor Commission President Sharon Weissman, Harbor Commissioner Bonnie Lowenthal and our Port Deputy Executive Director Noel Hacegaba. We are meeting with shipping executives, trade partners and senior management at the ports of Bangkok and Kobe. We also took this opportunity to meet with leadership from our U.S. Embassy in Thailand. This is our first trade mission with the Port since the start of the pandemic and my last trip as Mayor. We are using this opportunity to pick up where we left off — expanding our relations with Southeast Asia and spreading the good word on the strength of our Port.
We are also signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Port of Kobe, Japan and pursuing a new MOU with the Port Authority of Thailand. Currently, 70% of our trade is with China. We must expand trade with Southeast Asia and Japan to grow and diversify international trade at the Port of Long Beach. The future of our economy and jobs depend on it.
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With the recent changes in the shipping industry, especially given the lessons learned from the pandemic, this is a crucial time to meet with our customers and shipping partners to expand business opportunities for the Port of Long Beach.
The Port of Long Beach over the last few years has seen increasing cargo movement due to consumer demand and the Port's ability to meet the challenges brought on by the supply chain crisis.
In addition, the Port of Long Beach is undergoing $2.6 billion in capital improvement projects this decade that will improve the efficiency and environmental sustainability of cargo movement through the Port.
Our port is an enormous asset and economic engine, not only for Long Beach but for the region and nation as well. I'm proud of the work being done by the workers from the docks all the way up to management and our Harbor Commission leaders. I'm happy to share this pride as I travel abroad representing Long Beach
Thank you and Go Long Beach,
Mayor Robert Garcia
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