COSTA MESA–The Armenian National Committee of Orange County on August 16 met with California State Assembly member Van Tran at his offices in Costa Mesa, CA. ANC-OC activists Ara Malazian, Chris Guldjian, and Garin Sarkissian as well as ANC-OC activists and recent ANCA intern Alex Der Alexanian discussed various issues of importance to the Armenian community in Orange County, particularly with regards to renewing authorization of the California trade office in Armenia.
On July 17, Assemblyman Tran was named Chair of the Select Committee on International Trade for the California State Assembly. The Select Committee on International Trade was created to collaborate with California’s business community in expanding import-export opportunities; to promote better relationships with foreign entities, specifically to find economic opportunities for California businesses; and to explore legislative policies to cultivate international trade while resolving regulatory issues within the state.
The Select Committee on International Trade is of particular significance to Armenian American community as Armenia currently hosts the only California trade office. Operated by the Foundation for Economic Development and overseen by California’s Business, Transportation, and Housing Agency, the trade office is working to expand trade between California, Armenia, and the Newly Independent States of the former Soviet Union.
Assemblyman Tran explained the importance of highlighting the benefits to California’s economy through tangible results of the California-Trade Office. While Armenia is not nearly as well known as some of California’s other trading partners including Japan, China, Mexico and Israel, previous trade offices between California and those countries were funded by California tax-payers whereas the California- Trade Office, touted as a model for the next generation of California trade offices, is a privately funded entity working for the benefit of the state.
"We appreciated the opportunity to sit down with Assembly Member Tran to have a candid discussion about the importance of promoting California-Armenia ties," said Malazian. "Armenia provides the most democratic, stable, and economically progressing trading option for California in the region. More importantly, the vibrant and growing Armenian community in Orange County sees this developing economic relationship as complimentary to the numerous cultural and social bridges between the two states."