Shanghai, China - Positioning California to attract a growing share of China’s massive foreign investment pool and bolstering California-China trade, the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) and the Bay Area Council today announced the hiring of Ken Petrilla as the new Executive Director of the California-China Office of Trade and Investment. Petrilla was previously the head of the China Desk for Wells Fargo, the largest bank in the United States by market cap.
"The hiring of Ken Petrilla, one of the most experienced international banking executives in California, shows how serious California is about its trade relationship with China," said Mike Rossi, Governor Brown’s Senior Jobs Advisor.
The California-China Office of Trade and Investment was established by Governor Brown in 2013 to serve as a hub for California companies interested in entering or expanding in China – the world’s second largest economy – and Chinese companies seeking investment opportunities in California – the world’s eighth largest economy by GDP. California exported $24.2 billion to mainland China and Hong Kong in 2013, as the combined China region became the state's number one export market.
"It is hard to imagine a more exciting job than straddling two of the world's most dynamic economies and lending my expertise to helping them both grow more intertwined," Petrilla said. "The people of California and China have so much to gain as trade shifts into what many people have called the Century of the Pacific. I hope in this role I can give back to California as much as this state has given to me."
Prior to becoming Executive Director of the California-China Office, Petrilla was an executive vice president and head of the China Desk at Wells Fargo. He worked to
facilitate and capture China-related business in the United States, both inbound and outbound. Petrilla has held many positions within Wells Fargo, including responsibilities for all Wells Fargo business and activities within Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).
"There is a Chinese expression that opportunities multiply as they are seized, and Ken Petrilla is just the person California needs to seize these opportunities," said Jim Wunderman, President and CEO of the Bay Area Council, which manages the Trade Office for the state.