L.A. mayor shakes Hong Kong’s hand

Villaraigosa pacts for entertainment collaboration

HONG KONG — Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa made a quick stop in Hong Kong to, among other things, sign a pact encouraging collaboration between the two entertainment capitals and trade gateways.

Villaraigosa said he wants to make L.A. — which he calls the “new Ellis Island” of the U.S. because of its diversity — the North American capital of Cantonese media and entertainment. The city has the largest Chinese population of any U.S. city.

To boost this, the mayor said that he would make filming on L.A. city property free to help the local industry.

In Hong Kong for less than 24 hours to sign the pact with Hong Kong’s Trade Development Council, Villaraigosa said he didn’t have time to tackle entertainment as a major topic.

“We recognize Hong Kong is an entertainment center here in Asia and in the world,” he said, adding that he sees a lot of opportunities for “cross fertilization” and plans to come back to discuss these.

Although this trip was not popular with some of his advisors, Villaraigosa said he expects to be back in Asia regularly.

After stops in Beijing, Tianjin and Shanghai, the mayor’s next visit is to Guangzhou. Then he travels to South Korea for stops in Seoul on Monday and Tuesday, The Pusan Int’l Film Festival on Wednesday, followed by trips to Tokyo and Nagoya in Japan. His trip wraps Oct. 21.

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