A high-ranking executive with the Forever 21 fashion retail chain has been appointed to an industrial panel set up to help keep manufacturing jobs in Los Angeles.

LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has given a seat on the seven-member Industrial Development Authority to Forever 21 senior vice president Christopher D Lee, subject to ratification by the City Council.

The municipal panel offers incentives, in the form of bonds, in an effort to convince manufacturing companies to stay, expand or relocate in the city.

Forever 21, a 400-store chain with annual sales of an estimated US$1bn, has its headquarters in an industrial area of Downtown Los Angeles.