October 2, 2012
After 10 days, five cities and 18,000 miles traveled, Governor Rick Snyder is back home in Michigan from his second trade mission to China. It was a trip aimed at opening new markets for Michigan products, thereby helping to create more and better jobs for Michiganders.
"In the globally interconnected world of today, China offers extraordinary opportunities for Michigan companies to grow," Snyder said. "The 21 Michigan businesses that participated in the trade mission found potential new markets, distributorships and other business partnerships. The Chinese companies and government officials we met with are eager to seek greater cooperation with Michigan."
In a new column for the Lansing State Journal, Tom Watkins, who consults on business and education issues involving the U.S. and China, explains how Governor Snyder's trip will create jobs and opportunity in Michigan:
Gov. Rick Snyder is doing the right thing to build cultural, educational and most importantly; economic bridges with China. He is just returning home from his second trip to China in his first two years in office. This is a wise investment to help create jobs right here in Pure Michigan.
The Snyder administration is laying a solid foundation to build bridges with China that has been neglected for too long. The Snyder administration has a two prong approach:
• To identify goods and services that the Chinese need and want and rev up our ability to export these items to China, and:
• Seek Chinese and other nations to invest in our great state. Foreign Direct Investment is a wise strategy to help create jobs here at home.
Some of those exports are Pure Michigan's agricultural products. Michigan's top agriculture official, Jamie Clover Adams, who is director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, explained how the state's agriculture industry can benefit from trade with China. MLive reports:
"There are just tremendous opportunities for Michigan agricultural and food products," she told MLive during a phone interview from China. "I've got a long list of things to do when I get home."
Michigan had about $23.4 million in agricultural related trade with China last year, according to the Associated Press.
Michigan's dairy exports to the Asian country grew from $3 million in 2007 to about $7 million last year. And the state recently began exporting dried fruits, accounting for $300,000 in sales to China last year, Clover Adams said.
Click here to read more about Governor Snyder's trip to China.