Antioch mayor hopes city's deep water port will attract investors in trip to China

Mayor Lamar Hernandez-Thorpe is trying to build up Antioch's reputation in the business world

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Sunday, May 19, 2024
Antioch mayor hopes city's water port will attract China investors
Antioch Mayor Lamar Hernandez-Thorpe is going to China with hopes to attract new investors and build up the city's reputation in the business world.

ANTIOCH, Calif. (KGO) -- "If you are trying to get your goods shipped into the United States, faster and quicker, come to Antioch!" says Antioch's Mayor, Lamar Hernandez-Thorpe.

It will be part of his pitch on a business trip this week to China. He is part of an annual delegation of Bay Area mayors that travel to China to meet with investors and businesses.

"We are competing with cities along the I-580 corridor, where there is advanced manufacturing. We are going to be competing with cities with Milpitas, Fremont and San Jose, where there is advanced manufacturing, innovation taking place," says Hernandez-Thorpe.

The mayor says that could include manufacturing computer chips to electric car batteries.

MORE: Bigger car unveiled for new micro transits system coming to East Contra Costa County

Latest model of a Glydways car will be part of a new transportation system connecting Pittsburg, Antioch, Brentwood and Oakley, with the aim of reducing traffic congestion.

Another big pitch will be Antioch's deep water ports, which connected to BNF Railway.

In April, the first of 8 ships docked in Antioch as part of the first phase of AMPORTS' expansion into the city. AMPORTS is one of the world's largest automotive shipping companies.

"The first ship that came from AMPORTS, came from China. They brought some Buicks over. And now they are shipping them off to the east coast," explains Mayor Hernandez-Thorpe.

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Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe and other city leaders announced a $500,000 grant designed to give small business money to upgrade their storefronts.

The mayor says he also sees this an opportunity to showcase how the region is building up its infrastructure. One example is east Contra Costa County's micro transit system that will connect Pittsburg, Antioch, Brentwood and Oakley. And, how Antioch's deep water ports can help distinguish the city as another gateway to California.

"I don't think we are striving to be Oakland, but we can be like Benicia. We can be like West Sacramento. We can be like Stockton, to a lesser extent" says the mayor, comparing Antioch to other northern California cities with deep water ports.

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Mayor London Breed arrived at San Francisco International Airport on Sunday after a weeklong business trip to China.

This year's delegation includes the mayors of San Carlos, East Palo Alto and Oakley. The first stop is meetings in Hong Kong.

"We are not competing just for small mom-and-pop shops. We are competing for businesses that have traditionally not been out here in east county. And so, that is why this trip is so important.," says Mayor Hernandez-Thorpe.

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