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Snyder leads 10-day trade mission to strengthen Michigan's business relationship with China

Monday, September 17, 2012

LANSING, Mich. - Gov. Rick Snyder will lead an investment mission to China that leaves Michigan on Tuesday, Sept. 18 and returns Thursday, Sept. 27. This will be Snyder's second mission to China, where he will focus on strengthening relationships and developing pathways for increasing Michigan exports to the country.

"Michigan continues to build a strong partnership with China to create new trade and business opportunities," Snyder said. "Throughout this mission we will work to open more doors to new markets in China for businesses from across our state, while continuing to make the case that Michigan provides the most strategic location in North America for Chinese companies to expand."


Concurrent with the governor's investment mission, the Michigan Economic Development Corp. will lead business leaders from 21 Michigan companies to China to meet with prospective partners, distributors and buyers to increase export opportunities from Michigan to China. In addition to one-on-one meetings, this delegation will also come together with the governor's delegation for several key events throughout the mission. Also participating in the trade mission is Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) Director Jamie Clover Adams.  


Snyder and his delegation will travel to Shanghai, Hangzhou, Guiyang, Wuhan and Chengdu to meet with government officials and business executives. The governor will also attend the opening of the Michigan Center China Office in Shanghai, meet with U.S. Ambassador to China, Gary Locke, and deliver a keynote during an "Invest USA" session at the Western China International Fair. The agriculture delegation will meet with the United States Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Trade Office officials, tour wholesale and retail markets, and attend meetings with Michigan food companies and current and potential buyers.  


Business leaders and economists estimate large potential growth opportunities for Michigan in China:

·         Michigan companies exported nearly $2.2 billion in goods and materials to China in 2010, up 63 percent from $1.3 billion in 2009.

·         Transportation and auto-related equipment was the largest export item, at nearly $979 million in 2010. At least 50 Chinese auto-related companies have established a presence in metro Detroit, according to a Detroit Regional Chamber estimate, up from just five companies a decade ago.

·         Chinese foreign direct investment in the United States totaled $5 billion in 2010 and Michigan is one of the top 10 states for direct investment from China.


Snyder led an eight-day trade mission to Asia in September 2011, where he met with Japanese, Chinese and Korean government officials and major company executives to promote business opportunities in Michigan. Snyder also led a seven-day mission to Italy and Germany earlier this year where he met with senior-level executives from a number of automotive and alternative energy companies, as well as government officials.


Business developments announced as a result of the governor's previous investment mission in China include:

·         Nexteer Automotive announced it will invest $150 million in its Saginaw County operations, retaining more than 1,000 jobs. The Nexteer investment will include expansion and upgrade of testing and validation capabilities, including an overhaul of the Nexteer Vehicle Evaluation Center.

·         Shanghai Automotive Industries Corp. opened a North American Operations Center in Birmingham, Mich. in June 2012. Up to 100 employees will be housed at the refurbished, 30,000-foot facility which will focus on purchasing, logistics, technology and engineering for SAIC USA.

·         Ningbo Huaxiang Electric Co., the world's second largest producer of automotive wood-veneer trim, announced plans to expand its Grand Rapids plant.

·         Chang'an Automobile Co. Ltd. completed a $7 million U.S. research and development center in 2011 in Plymouth.


Other business developments announced through these trade missions include:

·         Hyundai America Technical Center Inc. announced it will expand operations in Michigan by building a world-class Hot/Cold Weather Dynamometer Test facility at its Superior Township location south of Ann Arbor. The company will invest $15 million to construct the facility and add 50 jobs over a five-year period.

·         Hark Orchids L.P., an orchid propagation company headquartered in Lippstadt, Germany announced it will invest $5 million to establish a facility in Kalamazoo - the company's first facility outside of Germany. The investment will create up to 80 jobs in the next three to five years.

·         In May, Snyder welcomed a delegation of senior government food protection officials from China to Michigan to participate in an in-depth training program titled: "Leadership Seminar in Global Food Protection" at the International Food Protection Training Institute in Battle Creek. This was the first of many planned international training programs to be delivered in Battle Creek that were the direct result of Snyder's trade mission to China in September 2011.