Gov. Rick Snyder and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan join together on investment mission in China

China Trip

Snyder and Duggan highlight Michigan’s future as global center for autonomous vehicles

Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016

LANSING, Mich. – The most recent stop on Gov. Rick Snyder’s sixth annual China investment mission took place at the China Hi-Tech Fair in Shenzhen, the largest scientific and technological fair in China.

Snyder was joined at the fair by a delegation led by Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. This is the first trade mission featuring both the governor and a mayor joining together to make the case for investing in Michigan.

At the fair, Snyder and Duggan visited the Michigan booth and spoke on both the state’s and city’s prowess in the technology field, specifically in regard to the recently launched Planet M campaign that seeks to elevate Michigan as both the hub of mobility innovations and the home of the reinvention of the transportation industry. They were accompanied by executives from 11 Michigan companies currently in China on a trade mission led by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

“Michigan is where big ideas in mobility are born,” Snyder said. “We are proud of our state’s legacy as an automotive industry leader, and we are excited to pave the way for the future of connected and autonomous vehicles, transportation and mobility technology.”

Following the fair, the delegations met with Shenzhen Party Secretary Ma Xingrui and Shenzhen Mayor Xu Qin, where the two mayors signed an Economic Partnership MOU between the cities of Detroit and Shenzhen. Playing a key role in the developing relationship between these two cities is the new Michigan-Shenzhen Trade, Investment and Innovation Cooperation Center, which along with its affiliate centers, focuses on exchanges around innovation and product development between the city and state.

Snyder and Duggan were on hand for a gift presentation between the University of Michigan and Frontt Capital Management Ltd., a Shenzhen-based investment firm focused on developing the intelligent vehicle industry in China. The gift, a $27 million investment from Frontt Capital, puts into place a research agreement that will advance autonomous, connected vehicles and robotic technologies.

In addition, the governor and the mayor witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding between U-M, the Southern University of Science and Technology (SUS Tech) and the Beijing Institute of Collaborative Innovation that is intended to establish a Global Collaboratory of Water Technology to conduct research in technologies related to clean water science and to cultivate talent and entrepreneurship.

“The University of Michigan and China have a long history together, dating back nearly 170 years,” said Snyder. “With a strong research base, world-class business school program and a focus on driverless vehicle development, the university shares many areas of common interest and expertise with Chinese companies and partner university programs.”

During the remainder of his mission, Snyder will make company visits and meet with business leaders and senior government officials in Guangzhou, Beijing and Nanchang.

The trip marks the Snyder administration’s sixth mission to China. Other missions led by Snyder or Lt. Gov. Brian Calley have included Japan, South Korea, Canada, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Brazil, Mexico, Israel, Chile, Columbia, Switzerland, Ireland and Great Britain.

Follow the governor's trip on social media at #InvestInMI. Additional photos also are available here.

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