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HAHN ON 2ND LEG OF TRADE TOUR MAYOR BUILDS RELATIONSHIP FOR BUSINESS.

Byline: Mariel Garza Staff Writer

Mayor James Hahn and his entourage arrived in China today for three days of meetings with President Jiang Zemin and other officials with high hopes of expanding business opportunities.

Beijing is the second leg in a 10-day mission to Asia that Hahn began over the weekend in Korea, where he and his delegation of Los Angeles city officials and business leaders spent two days pitching tourism and trade. Hahn met with Korean President Kim Dae-Jung on Monday and promised to open his international trade office to help Korean businesses get started in Los Angeles.

``President Kim and I had a very productive discussion,'' Hahn said after the meeting. ``We both know how important it is for Los Angeles and Korean businesses to work together.

``Our respective economies depend on mutual relationships and tourism, and I am committed to making sure we have a successful and fruitful relationship.''

Hahn left Korea this morning after a brief private meeting with the mayor of Seoul, Lee Myung-Bak, who bestowed upon Hahn honorary citizenship of the city.

While in Beijing, Hahn and his delegation will be focusing on building business relationships between the two countries.

``The primary goal in Beijing is to increase business opportunities abroad for local Los Angeles businesses,'' said Hahn spokeswoman Julie Wong. ``We have with us several in the delegation representing Los Angeles business who understand the importance of building these types of relationships in China for our economic development.''

The meeting with President Jiang and Hahn will be private, but Jiang has been encouraging trade with other countries. Monday he met with Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma and announced a plan for greater economic investment, particularly high tech.

Hahn's delegation of nearly 50 people includes City Council President Alex Padilla, who joins the delegation today, and Council members Eric Garcetti and Janice Hahn, as well as several city officials from the airport, the harbor and the Department of Water and Power. A number of Los Angeles business people are also traveling with the mayor including Alan Skobin, vice president of Galpin Ford, and Jim Dunn, president of the Airtel Plaza Hotel in Van Nuys.

Wednesday morning, Hahn will meet with Beijing zoo officials to start a years-long process of borrowing an animal for the Los Angeles Zoo. Wong said the city doesn't have a specific animal in mind yet, but Los Angeles officials want to start the discussion.

Hahn and the group will head to Tokyo on Thursday to hold a press conference with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Dodgers pitcher Kazuhisa Ishii. The delegation next will travel to Shanghai, Hong Kong and Taipei.

CAPTION(S):

photo

Photo:

Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn gives a speech at the Shilla Hotel in Seoul on Monday.

Yun Jai-hyoung/Associated Press
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Nov 19, 2002
Words:461
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