Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has been touring Shanghai since last week in an effort to increase collaboration among Chinese and California businesses, announced Sunday that California will bid to host the 2020 World Expo in the Bay Area -- specifically Moffett Field.
"Shanghai has demonstrated that when you host the World Expo, the world comes to you, and I want the world to come to California," Schwarzenegger said in a news release.
The proposed Silicon Valley site is Moffett Field, the joint civil-military airfield located near the south end of San Francisco Bay. The area is served by public transportation, accessible to local airports and surrounded by what he said are "some of the largest and most respected companies in the world."
The proposed bid is backed by the Bay Area Council, a public policy organization representing more than 275 of the largest Bay Area employers.
Schwarzenegger made the announcement at the World Expo in Shanghai before touring the U.S., Austrian and Chinese pavilions.
World Expos typically are held every five years and feature exhibits from around the world and attract as many as 70 million visitors, according to the release.
"Our state is a leader in entertainment, the environment, high-tech, green-tech and bio-tech, and we are ready to showcase our innovation to the world," Schwarzenegger said.
Host regions can experience an uptick in jobs in the tens of thousands, and Schwarzenegger said he expects the expo would also promote an increase in state revenues.
Academics in China estimate an $11.6 billion net economic impact from the Shanghai Expo on the surrounding region, which benefited from $40 billion worth of roads, subway lines and airport terminals, according to the release.
Schwarzenegger and Bay Area Council CEO and President Jim Wunderman argued that as the hub of innovation, Silicon Valley is "the most natural place to hold the Expo."
California and the U.S. will submit the formal Expo 2020 candidacy application in 2011. The Bureau of International Expositions is expected to announce the winner at the end of 2012, according to the release.
The last Expo on U.S. soil was held in 1984 in New Orleans, and the U.S. is not currently a member of the Bureau of International Expositions.
The Bay Area Council, which has pushed for the expo bid, plans to work with Congressional representatives and the U.S. State Department during the next few months to reinstate the U.S. as a contributing member, according to the release.
Wunderman recently proposed the World Expo bid idea in an opinion piece in the San Jose Mercury News.
"Imagine what a Silicon Valley expo will look like when we put all of the region's collective brainpower to work," Wunderman said in the release.