By Kyle Buchoff, Reporter
Strategically located in the new free trade zone in Shanghai, the California Center offers California companies a direct gateway to buyers and wholesalers in the Shanghai metro area (pop. 20 million) and beyond. The California Center is a private entity but enjoys strong support from both the California and Chinese governments.
While the Center showcases a huge range of California products and services, agriculture comprises the single largest trade category. Gordon Hinkle, vice president of the California Center explains, “Our range of members runs across the gamut, but we do have a heavy [emphasis his] emphasis on ag because some of the highest demand for California goods and services is in ag and wine. We aren’t limited only to food and ag, but I would say it is the largest portion of what we are doing.”
The former international trade director for the California Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce, Hinkle said, “We have a lot of different organizations and associations that are involved with us,” Hinkle continued, “to help promote their products. Everything from processed goods to fresh fruits and vegetables…a very important part of what we are doing is working directly with the ag community.”
Recently Mr. Hinkle and other associates visited pistachio, raisin and olive oil producers in the Fresno area. “These are the folks we are helping to introduce and increase their exports into China, and we have had very good early response.”
Gordon also serves as a Committee Chair for the 150th Anniversary Celebration of the Chinese Workers Contribution to the Construction of the U.S. Transcontinental Railroad, which will be holding numerous events in 2015, recognizing Chinese contribution and significance to American history.
The California Center provides door-to-door service to bring products to Chinese buyer destinations in a seamless operation that includes: shipping, customs clearance, warehousing, sales transactions and customer services. Through the center’s portal, Chinese buyers can navigate through listed California companies seamlessly and with great ease!