Projected US trade growth and the growing importance of technology exports should lead to a significant spike in Bay Area technology export activity to US$30bn by 2016.

The findings come from new research from the Bay Area Council Economic Institute (BACEI), sponsored by HSBC.

The report predicts a rise of as much as 20% to around US$30bn by the end of 2016, from almost US$25bn last year.

The projected increase will provide increased expansion opportunities for businesses involved in this sector, with exports currently supporting some 378,000 jobs in the region.

According to the research, projected Bay Area growth is also linked to the rising importance of China’s currency, the renminbi (Rmb), in global commerce. American firms are becoming increasingly at ease with settling cross-border trades in Rmb, with the Bay Area at the forefront of this trend due to the region’s strong Chinese business and cultural ties.

In 2013, two-way trade between California and China totalled over US$146bn and the state currently attracts more Chinese investment in technology than any other, with over a third (35%) directed toward the Bay Area. For the US as a whole, Chinese foreign direct investment has broken new records each year since 2009, increasing from US$5.8bn in 2010 to US$6.7bn in 2012.

“Innovation, ingenuity and risk-taking are the foundation of the Bay Area-Silicon Valley economy and position the region for tremendous growth as cutting-edge technology becomes the American export of the future,” says Sean Randolph, president and CEO of the Bay Area Council Economic Institute and author of the report: Trade in the Bay Area: Investment and Global Financial Flows.

“This, in combination with our close ties to China and the rest of Asia, as well as the internationalisation of the Chinese currency, makes it an exciting time to live and work in the Bay Area.”

“San Francisco is the Innovation Capital of the World and the gateway to the Pacific Rim, making our city a dynamic and thriving hub for international trade and commerce,” says San Francisco mayor Edwin Lee.

“San Francisco is truly an international city, and the flow of goods throughout the Bay Area is a natural extension of its economic culture,” says Arjan van den Berkmortel, managing director, corporate banking West Coast at HSBC Bank USA. “We opened our first US office here nearly 150 years ago, and as we look at the future of global trade, it’s exciting to see how well positioned San Francisco and the surrounding areas are for continued growth.”