Businesses in Swansea take part in transatlantic trade mission
LANGUAGE experts, high-tech firms and car part companies in Swansea are among a transatlantic trade mission drumming up business in San Francisco.
The City School of Languages in Swansea, Caerbont Automotive Instruments in Abercrave and Swansea Engineering Applications Solutions are part of the delegation of Welsh businesses lead across the Atlantic by First Minister Carwyn Jones for the four day event.
The mission will focus on the West Coast of the United States to promote trade and potential inward investment in Wales.
With a GDP of $487 billion (2009), the San Francisco bay area ranks 22nd in the world when compared to national economies and is at the cutting edge of global technology.
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The First Minister will meet with business, political and academic leaders in the city and Silicon Valley to highlight Wales's culture of innovation, entrepreneurship, collaboration and opportunities for transatlantic success.
Yesterday the First Minister met the Mayor of San Francisco Edwin Lee for talks with economic development officials from the Governor's Office.
The First Minister will hold talks with high profile California based technology companies and institutions.
The British Consul General in San Francisco will give the minister a briefing on the trade opportunities in the area, as will the Jaclyn Mason, head of UK Trade & Invest in the city.
Mr Jones said: "The United States remains the world's premier economic power and engaging with businesses there is essential for Wales.
"That is why I am in San Francisco to lead a Welsh Government trade mission with a focus on innovation.
"The city and wider area enjoys world-class status, with thriving business and academic communities.
"This is an opportunity to learn from this vibrant market and to seek out opportunities for Wales and Welsh companies.
"It is vitally important in my role as First Minister that I seek to build relationships that will open doors for Welsh business.
"A number of Welsh businesses are here with me for this unique opportunity to explore the potential for Welsh businesses to tap into this market and explore investment opportunities.
"As well as a series of business events I will be holding talks with the Mayor of San Francisco. International trade is vitally important for the Welsh economy and Welsh Government overseas missions are tailored to help businesses make the most of the all the opportunities presented."