San Francisco serves as an international center for trade and sits among the global focal points of the rapidly developing international economies in IT, digital media, clean tech and life sciences. Long the gateway between America and the Pacific—it is the largest U.S. exporting region to Asia—the area has seen its international connections blossom with its rise to prominence in the innovation industries. More than 80 consulates and foreign trade offices are located in San Francisco. It is the seventh largest exporting region in the U.S. As the financial services epicenter of the West Coast, the City features 30 of the largest non-American banking institutions in the country—among them are Barclays Bank of the United Kingdom, Sumitomo Bank of Japan, Banco di Roma of Italy, Banque Nationale de Paris of France, Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank of China, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, HSBC, Lippo Bank of Indonesia and The Royal Bank of Scotland. E.U. and Latin American interest continue with the latter in prospects of starting a Latin SF that will model the success of ChinaSF.
Cosmopolitan in nature, the region has long been a favorite of international visitors and immigrants. With a local population speaking more than 100 languages and coming from every corner of the world (nearly 50% of SF residents are foreign born), San Francisco provides an international human resource that cannot be matched. Its renowned research centers and universities attract talent from around the world—a full 33 percent of graduate students at Stanford and 21 percent at UC Berkeley come from overseas.