Why San Francisco?
Combined with a long-standing economic and cultural history with China, San Francisco offers an unbeatable combination of economic resources and strengths to potential Chinese partners. San Francisco is a leader in innovation, intellectual capital and offers the world’s best employees because of its unparalleled quality of life.
The Chinese Connection
Shared History. San Francisco has enjoyed deep cultural and economic ties with China for more than 150 years. Because of this, San Francisco is very well known across China and enjoys established brand recognition.
Established Chinese Community. Because more than 25% of the City’s population is of Chinese ancestry, there is no other place in North America where Chinese business men and women will feel more comfortable and welcome.
Sister City since 1979. San Francisco was the first American city to proudly embrace its friendship with China. Established in 1979, San Francisco and Shanghai have enjoyed a Sister City relationship spanning more than a quarter of a decade. The mission of the sister city relationship is to promote goodwill and cross-cultural understanding, and we have been successfully fulfilling that mission for more than a quarter of a century.
Cleantech: Our Future’s Energy
The world is up against one of its greatest challenges: solving for the energy needs of our growing global population.
A major trend in China‘s burgeoning cleantech industry is the conversion of the coal-reliant economy into sources of cleaner energy, whether solar, wind, or by cleaning up traditionally polluting resources, such as coal and carbon-dioxide.
San Francisco’s the center of the world’s greatest concentration of cleantech companies in research, finance and development. San Francisco has been a leader in not only spearheading research and development of clean technology resources, but also in the adoption of green technology. Some quick facts:
- San Francisco is the home to over 180 cleantech companies.
- PG&E—a leader on renewables, efficiency and demand response—has their headquarters in San Francisco.
- Geographic center of cleantech research: UCSF, UC Berkeley, Stanford, UC Davis, UC Santa Cruz, Nat’l Labs
- Center of cleantech venture capital: 17 green finance companies in San Francisco.
San Francisco is one of the world’s most desirable cities in the world with an unparalleled quality of life. As a result, it attracts the world’s top most talented workforce.
Highly educated: San Francisco sits on a veritable goldmine of talent: it was recently ranked “The Best Educated City in the Nation” by Money magazine, and enjoys one of the most culturally diverse, well-educated and highly productive workforces in the world, including a high percentage of bilingual Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese) – English speakers.
Highly Productive: The San Francisco Bay Area boasts a productivity rate that’s twice the national average, and its residents can collectively claim more patents than any other region in the country. In fact, during the years 1995-1999, more patents were awarded to residents of the San Francisco Bay area than to the entire United States combined. Nowhere in the U.S. will Chinese companies find so many highly-qualified and bi-lingual professionals as in San Francisco, and nowhere will Chinese businesspeople, whether visiting or relocating, feel as friendly and welcoming an atmosphere.
Highly Innovative: San Francisco was ranked # 1 in Entrepreneurial Climate, with most new companies achieving an annual revenue growth of more than 20% for four consecutive years. On a per capita basis, more patents were awarded to residents of the San Francisco Bay Area in the years 1995-1999 than were awarded in the entire United States. Serving this culture of innovation is the highest density of venture capital firms in the world: more than 33% of nationwide funding occurs in the Bay Area alone.
Top Managerial Talent: San Francisco’s workforce is well-suited to address the managerial needs of firms locating in North America. The scarcity of top managerial and technical talent has been cited time and again as a critical problem facing both foreign and locally owned businesses in China. A recent survey by the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, for example, found that 37% of the American enterprises in the city said that recruiting talent was their biggest barrier to success, ahead of regulatory concerns or bureaucracy. China will need to forge ahead to satisfy demand for talented professionals from across a range of fields in order to their global ambitions, and San Francisco is ideally poised to supply this growing demand.
A Familiar Destination. As Conde Nast’s top city for seventeen years in a row, San Francisco is one of the world’s most coveted vacation destinations. The fact that San Francisco was recently granted ‘approved destination status’ by the Chinese government is testimony to the fact that the city has long been one of the most attractive, desirable locations to visitors from China.
In fact, according to the San Francisco Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, the city already has 35 percent market-share of Chinese travelers to the United States, and saw visitor-ship rise 11.4 percent to 78,000 from 2005 to 2006. The city is committed to increasing that share by providing language support at hotels and airports, hassle-free travel in and out of the city, and all the amenities expected of an internationally recognized destination.
Port of San Francisco
- More than 84 cruise ships call at the Port of San Francisco annually.
- 210,000 passengers sail from the Port of San Francisco annually.
- The Port of San Francisco handles $72 billion total trade annually.
- The port of San Francisco has terminals offering six berths, on-dock rail, acres of paved land for staging cargo, more than 550,000 square feet of covered storage for weather-sensitive cargo, cranes capable of working both breakbulk and containers, and 624 reefer outlets. [ftz.com]
- Five ferry services also connect the city with the East Bay and the North Bay.
San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
- SFO is the 14th-largest airport in the United States, convenien tly located 20 minutes from downtown San Francisco.
- It handles 33,574,807 passengers annually
- SFO handles 95% of Bay Area flights, largest regional airport.
- SFO boasts 63 airlines, 19 airlines with international service.
- San Francisco International Airport is the region’s largest, the country’s ninth largest and the world’s fourteenth largest airport.
- A $2.4 billion expansion includes a new international terminal, centralized rental car center, and the recently opened AirTran system. Many of the downtown hotels offer free transportation to and from the airport.
- The Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) offers easy and quick access from SFO to and from downtown San Francisco.
Strategic Entrepreneurial Partners
China‘s Growing Needs: The maturation of the Chinese economy has seen an increase in globalizing tendencies by multinational corporations: as these key players move up the marketing and distribution ladder, they undergo the shift from investment target to investor. Much Chinese outbound investment has focused on forming strategic alliances with overseas companies. In fact, more than 55% of Chinese executives interviewed for a McKinsey survey put such partnerships at the heart of their global expansion strategy.
The benefits range from acquiring natural or intellectual resources, tapping new markets, or competing more effectively on the world stage by widening scale abroad. Many of these deals have been small and focused as a means to secure a particular benefit, as opposed to large-scale and transformative. However, research shows that China is sitting on an explosion in merger potential, much of which will be directed overseas. Seeking lower risk destinations for liquid investment and strategic partnerships have become a cornerstone in the strategies of top Chinese multinational companies.
San Francisco Opportunities: Nowhere is the possibility of such strategic partnerships more visible than in the San Francisco Bay Area, the world’s center of innovation, venture capital and entrepreneurship: strategic partnerships with local start-ups are a prime avenue of expansion into the vast markets of North America. The options for finding new avenues and in-roads to the American economy are enormous: companies seeking a gateway to the markets and resources of the United States would be enhanced significantly by entering on a firm foothold of innovation and entrepreneurship in San Francisco.
- The Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) is an ultra-modern train system linking the city with 43 stations in the East Bay Area, providing fast and easy commuter linkage with San Francisco’s outlying suburbs.
- Percentage of residents who use public transit: 30.3%
- Nonstop transit access from SFO to downtown/financial district via BART.
- The famous cable cars are not only a tourist attraction, but also a convenient way for commuters to travel in the downtown area. The city’s Municipal Railway System (Muni) light-rail vehicles, descendants of the cable cars, travel underground in the inner city and above ground in the outlying areas.
- Muni is the country’s seventh largest transit system in terms of ridership.
- San Francisco is centrally located to the North, South, and East Bay regions, with substantial daily inflow of workforce and convenient transportation linkage.