While stories of China’s trade expansion proliferate, Europe’s relatively low profile downplays its very large, longstanding and continuously evolving commercial connections with the San Francisco Bay Area.
Europe and the Bay Area continue to be highly interconnected regions, both pioneering in science, technology and innovation. Substantial mutual investments, the exchange of groundbreaking ideas, bilateral trade and investment negotiations ensure that this partnership will generate increasing shared value in the future.
According to Sean Randolph, president of the Bay Area Economic Institute, the San Francisco Bay Area economy annually benefits from nearly $9.5 billion in European trade. While this European trade represents nearly 20 percent of total trade from the region, “it’s European Foreign Direct Investment that is the real story.” As foreign investments and partnerships pour into the progressive Bay Area region, Europe leads the way with its comparable business and legal climate.
Now, with the continuing Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations between the EU and the US, the relationship between the two economic powers is expected to be significantly reinforced. When the trade agreement is adopted, California is estimated to grow in European trade by 26 percent, which could create as many as 75,000 new jobs. Sectors poised for continued growth include financial services and large, medium and small technology companies including life sciences and biotechnology, telecom, renewable energy and transportation urban technology that achieves greater sustainability.
With an acknowledgement of these new initiatives, and with a nod to the longstanding mutually advantageous trade between the Bay Area and Europe, the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce – SF/SV joins a consortium of local European chambers of commerce and business associations in launching the Association of American European Chambers of Commerce and Business Associations (AAECCBA). The mission of the AAECCBA is to “facilitate dynamic working relationships among members of participating organizations” and “contribute to the enhancement of economic, commercial and financial relations between California and European organizations.”
Since 2010, SACC-SF/SV has played a key role in driving the transformation of a previously informal platform for European collaboration and networking into an established legal organization. With SACC-SF/SV chairwoman Charlotte Danielsson in the role as treasurer of the AAECCBA Executive Committee, the chamber secures a strong voice within the organization. “The mission of the AAECCBA will increase networking opportunities available to SACC members,” says Charlotte Danielsson, “while at the same time augmenting the influence of SACC as the gateway for Swedish-American commercial collaboration and exchange in the Bay Area.”
The AAECCBA will host a number of networking events throughout the year, including a launch event in San Francisco on April 14, and a networking event in Palo Alto on May 8. SACC members enjoy discounts on ticket prices.
By: Sofia Englund
PR & Communications