Schiff Proposes Trade Office Study for Armenia

PASADENA–Senator Adam B. Schiff announced Wednesday that he has introduced a measure calling on the California Department of Trade and Commerce to conduct a feasibility study on the merits of opening a California Trade Office in Armenia.

The Senate Budget Subcommittee #4–which reviews Trade and Commerce’s budget–approved adding this study requirement into the budget bill. The feasibility report is expected by January 1–2000.

The State of California currently has trade offices in Germany–the United Kingdom–Hong Kong–Indonesia–Israel–Mexico–the Republic of South Africa–Taiwan and Japan. Senator Schiff’s measure calls for an examination of the potential for a tenth trade office in Yerevan–the capital of the Republic of Armenia.

"The breakup of the Soviet Union led to the independence of countries such as Armenia–which has adopted a free market economy and a democratically elected government. These two very important factors–as well as the significant Armenian population in California–make Armenia highly suitable for hosting a California Trade Office," said Senator Schiff.

California’s Trade and Commerce Agency–through its foreign offices–assists California companies to expand their international business opportunities. More specifically–the agency promotes California exports abroad–while encouraging direct foreign investment in California.

"Expanding the scope of our state’s economy by assisting California-based small- and medium-sized companies to establish international partnerships is vital to the continued prosperity of our state," said Schiff.

California’s trillion-dollar economy is one of the largest and most diverse–ranking seventh among all countries in the world.

According to 1996 World Factbook data–Armenia’s imports totaled $727 million in commodities–such as agricultural products and sources of energy.

"The United States is already a key trading partner with Armenia. A California Trade Office in Armenia might successfully build upon the existing trade relationship–and establish a direct economic link to our state–which is home to more than 300,000 Americans of Armenian heritage," Schiff said.

Senator Schiff represents the 21st State Senate District–which includes the communities of Burbank–Glendale–Pasadena–La Crescenta–South Pasadena–Sunland Tujunga–Temple City–San Marino–La Canada Flintridge–Atwater Village and portions of Los Feliz and Silver Lake.

State Capitol o Room 5080–Sacramento–CA 95814 o (916) 445-5976 Braley Building o 35 S. Raymond Ave.–Suite 205–Pasadena–CA 91105 o (626) 683-0282

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