Welsh Government official to be based in US

The official will 'promote Wales to potential investors' Credit: Dave Thompson/PA Wire/Press Association Images

A Welsh Government official will be permanently based in San Francisco, First Minister Carwyn Jones has revealed.

Working at the British Consulate, the official will promote Wales to potential investors.

Mr Jones made the announcement while on a trade mission in California - where he is leading a delegation of 18 Welsh businesses during his four-day visit.

He said: "San Francisco has one of the world's most famous sites with the Golden Gate Bridge - and our presence here in the city can be described as Wales' bridge to the vast west coast economy.

"The Consulate provides us with the perfect base to promote what Wales can offer to businesses and potential investors.

"It is the duty of the Welsh Government to do all it can to attract high quality investment and to achieve this we need to be visible in markets such as the west coast."

Before leaving for the US at the start of the week, the Welsh Labour leader spoke of his hope that his trip would help open doors for Wales in Silicon Valley.

On Monday it was announced that a deal signed in San Francisco could create up to 100 jobs at Carmarthenshire-based Hydro Industries.

The creation of a new Welsh Government presence in San Francisco comes after the First Minister held talks on potential economic links with the Mayor of San Francisco Edwin Lee and the Governor's Office.

Mr Jones added: "We have a simple message - Wales is open for business, is an excellent environment to locate and is welcoming to companies."

Welsh Government officials say the value of Welsh exports to North America has improved over the last three years before dipping slightly over the last 12 months.

A spokesman said: "Wales exported £915 million to North America in the third quarter of 2012, compared to more than £1bn in the third quarter of 2011."