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Villaraigosa Heads To China To Promote LA As Tourist, Trade Hub

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Antonio Villaraigosa this weekend is making one last trip to China as mayor of Los Angeles.

Accompanied by harbor, airport, and tourism officials, the mayor is expected to meet with the Chinese government and business leaders through Wednesday in an effort to promote the city as a tourist destination and trade hub.

Last year, more than 130-billion-dollars in cargo sailed into LA from China – the biggest trading partner for the Port of LA.

Earlier this month, the mayor said he hoped to show off the newly renovated Tom Bradley International Terminal to try to get more direct flights between LAX and China.

He also wants to highlight the Port of LA’s import and export capabilities in an effort boost trade with Chinese companies.

City News Service citing officials reported that the Port of LA and Los Angeles World Airports are expected to foot the bill for the mayor’s trip using non-taxpayer funds.

Villaraigosa will have a few more milestones to mark and duties to complete when he returns before handing over the reigns to City Councilman Eric Garcetti on July 1.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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