California could be poised to hugely benefit from Chinese outbound foreign direct investment (OFDI) to the cool tune of $60 billion, says this Asia Society press release which features a groundbreaking study conducted jointly with the well-known research group Rhodium.

Why is California such a hot destination for inbound Chinese business?  The state is certainly not known for its business-friendly tax and regulatory climate, and high real estate prices and a tightly competitive business environment could drive off many prospective entrepreneurs.  Yet as this San Francisco Chronicle article points out, “Almost all of the investments in California, many of them in the high-tech, clean-tech and social-gaming sectors, have so far come from private companies, rather than China’s state-owned behemoths.”  Apparently China’s private investors are attracted by “innovation, high tech, high-value services, and one of the best educated, most diverse labor forces in the world.”  While California may still lag behind New York, Texas, Illinois and North Carolina in pure dollar amount, in sheer numbers it has attracted the greatest number of Chinese investors, according to CNN.

Can Californian civic and business leaders take a moment to look up from their own local headaches, such as the ongoing drama of the Golden State’s budget crisis, and position themselves effectively to roll out a bright red carpet for this gargantuan inflow of capital from China’s economic juggernaut?

It remains to be seen whether this globalization success story will truly pan out into a new gold rush, or the sun will set over the Pacific on yet another foggy afternoon of plain old California dreamin’.