Council Applauds Gov. Newsom’s Action to Expand California’s Global Trade and Investment Leadership

San Francisco — The Bay Area Council applauded Gov. Gavin Newsom’s action today appointing Lt. Gov. and former U.S. Ambassador Eleni Kounalakis as California’s International and Trade Development Representative and creating the International Affairs and Trade Development Interagency Committee that she will lead. Lenny Mendonca, Gov. Newsom’s Senior Economic Advisor and a former chair of the Bay Area Council, will serve as Vice Chair of the new committee.

“California’s economy is a global economy that will be made stronger and more resilient by increasing our trade and investment presence around the world,” said Jim Wunderman, President and CEO of the Bay Area Council. “Gov. Newsom’s leadership in taking this action today will expand economic opportunities for more Californians, help attract more investment to our state and deepen our valuable international partnerships across the globe. Lt. Gov. Kounalakis, with her strong international experience, is an excellent choice to lead this new effort. Our extensive research on the California’s and the Bay Area’s trade and investment ties with the world has made abundantly clear just how important and how valuable they are in maintaining our competitiveness, growing our economy and increasing prosperity.”

The Bay Area Council partners with the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) to operate the California-China Office of Trade and Investment, which was opened in 2013. The Council has operated in China and throughout Asia over the past 10 years with four offices in Shanghai, Nanjing, Hangzhou and Beijing, helping companies enter and expand in China and promoting Chinese investment in California.

About the Bay Area Council

The Bay Area Council is a business-sponsored, public-policy advocacy organization for the nine-county Bay Area. The Council proactively advocates for a strong economy, a vital business environment, and a better quality of life for everyone who lives here. Founded in 1945, the Bay Area Council is widely respected by elected officials, policy makers and other civic leaders as the voice of Bay Area business. Today, more than 300 of the largest employers in the region support the Bay Area Council and offer their CEO or top executive as a member. Our members employ more than 4.43 million workers and have revenues of $1.94 trillion, worldwide. Learn more at

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