This week, I led a delegation of local City officials and education and business leaders to Vancouver, Canada. Organized in partnership with the MAPLE Business Council, which promotes trade and investment between Southern California and Canada, the trip centered around the SelectUSA InvesTech conference. As the only member on the City Council to also work in the tech sector—in corporate social responsibility for Microsoft—it was an honor to share our city’s story of digital and economic inclusion with foreign officials and business owners in Canada.
On Tuesday night, Consul General Katherine Dhanani hosted a welcome reception for our delegation at the U.S. Consulate General’s residence in Vancouver. The U.S. has built a very special bond with Canada, trading $700 billion in goods and services every year. In California, this international partnership supports more than 1.2 million jobs and contributes more than $50 billion to our economy. Canada is the second-largest export market for California and the third-largest source of foreign direct investment in Los Angeles County. Our visit served to strengthen this critical relationship!
Councilwoman Gonzalez speaking with Canadian tech entrepreneurs.
The InvesTech Conference on Wednesday was truly inspiring and educational. Canadian business owners learned about the processes for setting up shop in the U.S., and our Long Beach delegation organized a panel to showcase the advancements our city has made in tech and innovation. We highlighted our efforts to promote economic development and small business growth, expand Fiber infrastructure and internet connectivity, and attract development and investment in the city. We are committed to ensuring that as Long Beach grows a strong, vibrant innovation economy, we make it inclusive and equitable for everyone.